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379 pages, Kindle Edition
First published October 13, 2020
“That wasn’t freedom. That was permission.”Books like this leave me a bit torn.
“Women should have a voice in their futures, and her decisions and her decisions alone matter when it comes to how she will use her own body.”
“An hour ago, the only thing she wanted was magic. An hour ago, she didn’t know what it felt like to look at a man and have her heart leap.”
“Then don’t watch me marry a man who will keep me warded day in and day out, forced to have child after child! Don’t desert me in a country that strips me of my wealth and property, my very rights—simply because I am a woman!”
“Ianthe waved one arm in a circle that encompassed the world. “But women do it all the time. They marry. They have children. That’s the point of marriage.”
“And we die in childbirth all the time,” Beatrice said. “And what if she just didn’t want to have children?”
Ianthe scoffed. “But it’s—”
Beatrice pounced. “Natural?”
“The talent for sorcery in women is a curse when it ought to be a blessing.”
“But no one is looking for another way,” Beatrice said. “The current system lays all of the restriction, all the responsibility, and all of the burden on sorceresses. Men aren’t inconvenienced in any way. They may do whatever they like. For them, the system isn’t broken, so why look for a solution?”
Perhaps he thought her too honourable to summon a luck spirit and cheat at cards. Perhaps he thought her too ignorant. Beatrice trembled. Why couldn’t she be cunning? Why couldn’t she be underhanded?
She was cunning. She was underhanded. And she was going to save her own skin, and let Ianthe believe what he would.
She coated her grin with sugar and arsenic.
He had taken a generous dowry and learned that the way to have a small fortune from speculation and investment was to start with a large one.