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Authors: Terry Goodkind

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Soul of the Fire

BOOK: Soul of the Fire
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Contents

Books by Terry Goodkind

 

RICHARD AND KAHLAN

The Omen Machine

 

THE SWORD OF TRUTH

Wizard’s First Rule

Stone of Tears

Blood of the Fold

Temple of the Winds

Soul of the Fire

Faith of the Fallen

The Pillars of Creation

Naked Empire

Chainfire

Phantom

Confessor

 

CONTEMPORARY FICTION

The Law of Nines

This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this novel are either fictitious or are used fictitiously.

SOUL OF THE FIRE

Copyright© 1999 by Terry Goodkind

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book, or portions thereof, in any form.

A 12thDoctor Ebook

Edited by James Frenkel

Maps by Terry Goodkind

A Tor Book

Published by Tom Doherty Associates, Inc.

175 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY 10010

www.tor.com

Tor® is a registered tradfemark of Tom Doherty Associates, Inc.

To James Frenkel, a man of great patience,

courage, integrity, and talent.

Beware when day meets dark. Beware cross roads, where they skulk. They can lurk in fire's crackle and easily travel on sparks. Beware gloomy places among rocks, under things, down holes and caves and shafts of every kind. Beware crags and edges and water's brink—the fey creatures slipp along borders, where this meets that.

Some are of terrible icy beauty. Most are shaped by whim. They often crave attention. Pray not provoke them, for the revel in causing extravagant harm, and are dangerous in the extreme. They are tireless hunters, these thieves of magic, without empathy, without a soul.

Mark well my words: Beware the chimes, and if need be great, draw for yourself thrice on the barren earth, in sand and salt and blood, a Fatal Grace.

—translated from Koloblicin's Journal

CHAPTER 1


I wonder what’s bothering the chickens,” Richard said.

Kahlan nuzzled tighter against his shoulder. “Maybe your grandfather is pestering them now, too.” When he didn’t reply, she tilted her head back to squint up at him in the dim firelight. He was watching the door. “Or maybe they’re grouchy because we kept them awake most of the night.”

Richard grinned and kissed her forehead. The brief squawking on the other side of the door had ceased. No doubt the village children, still reveling in the wedding celebration, had been chasing the chickens from a favorite roost on the squat wall outside the spirit house. She told him as much.

Faint sounds of distant laughter, conversation, and singing drifted into their quiet sanctuary. The scent of the balsam sticks that were always burned in the spirit-house hearth mingled with the tang of sweat earned in passion, and the spicy-sweet aroma of roasted peppers and onions. Kahlan watched the firelight reflecting in his gray eyes a moment before lying back in his arms to sway gently to the sounds of the drums and the boldas.

Paddles scraped up and down ridges carved on the hollow, bell-shaped boldas produced an eerie, haunting melody that seeped through the solitude of the spirit house on its way out onto the grasslands, welcoming spirit ancestors to the celebration.

Richard stretched to the side and retrieved a round, flat piece of tava bread from the platter Zedd, his grandfather, had brought them. “It’s still warm. Want some?”


Bored with your new wife so soon, Lord Rahl?”

Richard’s contented laugh brought a smile to her lips. “We really are married, aren’t we? It wasn’t just a dream, was it?”

Kahlan loved his laugh. So many times she had prayed to the good spirits that he would be able to laugh again—that they both would.


Just a dream come true,” she murmured.

She urged him from the tava bread for a long kiss. His breathing quickened as he clutched her in his powerful arms. She slid her hands across the sweat-slick muscles of his broad shoulders to run her fingers through the thick tangle of his hair as she moaned against his mouth.

It had been here in the Mud People’s spirit house, on a night that now seemed lifetimes ago, that she had first realized she was hopelessly in love with him, but had to keep her forbidden feelings secret. It was during that visit, after battle, struggle, and sacrifice, that they had been accepted into the community of these remote people. On another visit, it was here in the spirit house, after Richard accomplished the impossible and broke the spell of prohibition, that he had asked her to be his wife. And now they had at last spent their wedding night in the spirit house of the Mud People.

BOOK: Soul of the Fire
6.24Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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