It is with great joy that I welcome you today to my home city, Ban Rona. We’ll visit the Great Library in a few weeks—the very best place in Aerwiar! I can’t wait!—but first, glory in the great peace of the city itself.
It took Janner a while to realize what was so strange about Ban Rona.
As they walked the clean streets of the city, they passed wagons and clusters of people walking in conversation. Many of the houses boasted gardens in the front so that one had to pass between bright flowers and totatoes on the vine to reach the front steps. Men and women sat outside on benches, puffing pipes or munching on grapes, laughing in the cool of the night.
And every house, Janner noticed, had a dog. Not just a dog, but a big dog. He could see their tails waving like flags in the windows. He saw them curled up on the landings and chasing sticks, dogs of different colors and breeds, but all of them at least twice as big as Nugget had been— before the water from the First Well, anyway. More than once, one of the dogs padded out to greet Leeli as she passed, as if they sensed in her a great store of affection with nowhere else to go.
“The people aren’t afraid,” Janner said, finally realizing what was so different. “It’s after dark, the streets are full, and there are no Fangs slithering about. Everyone’s happy. I’ve never seen that before.”
“It’s the way it was and the way it should be,” Artham said. “All the work has been done, dinner is on the table, and the children are alight with a final burst of energy before bed. That’s when stories get told. Look.”
They passed a lawn where a fire crackled in a stone ring. A grandmother sat on a bench with a book in her lap, reading to a circle of children gathered at her feet. Whistleharp music drifted to their ears, and with it the sound of singing. Janner caught the scent of something delicious as they passed a window where a family sat around a table. It reminded Janner of the Dragon Day festival in Glipwood, where he’d seen Armulyn the Bard singing by the fire. But here, no one was afraid.
—From chapter 8, “The Orchard Inn and Cookery.”
What was your favorite snippet from this week’s reading? Or, if you’re currently reading elsewhere in the books, from whatever you read this week? Share it in the comments!
This week’s forum discussion includes Kalmar and the Hollowsfolk, homesickness, favorite characters, and movie casting. Come on in and enjoy the conversation. 🙂