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This snippet from SAINT SANGUINUS takes place when Cavan, the son of the village wise woman was a boy of thirteen.
Here he watches as a spell launched against his rival--Peredur, future warrior for their 6th century Welsh village--shoots off in an unexpected direction.
The sword master took his time and methodically drew a bloody pattern in his young student’s skin. When Tanwen finally arrived with her brother, dismay marred her features. I don’t know why that angered me, but it did.
It almost distracted me from the show Peredur performed so beautifully, his fellow students flinching in unison with every turn of the knife blade.
Peredur knelt there for a moment once it was over, breathless and shaking as the sword master rose and turned away.
Eventually Peredur pushed himself up, turned and quickly wiped his face as Owen walked toward the bench--this I hadn’t predicted at all.