Read Brightly Burning Online

Authors: Mercedes Lackey

Brightly Burning

Table of Contents
 
 
The pain of the lash. . . .
Lan had stopped thinking some time ago; now all he was doing was
feeling
. It was pure fear, and barely contained rage that consumed him, the ice of panic, the heat of anger, contending for his mind. There wasn't much room left over for thought.
He struggled to hold in the rage; somehow he felt dimly that if he couldn't keep control over it, something terrible and irrevocable would happen. But the part of him that tried to hang onto a little rational thought was also the part that
hurt
. The blinding pain of the worst headache he had ever felt without passing out entirely was slowly eroding his ability to hang onto his anger.
The pain of the lash was worse than anything Lan had ever felt. It cut right through the headache, broke his paralyzing fear, and left him with only instinct.
He
had
to get away!
He had to get away, and now!
The fear joined the anger, and together they destroyed the last of his rapidly eroding control over that overpowering rage—and the terrible thing that his rage had summoned. . . .
NOVELS BY
MERCEDES LACKEY
available from DAW Books:
THE HERALDS OF VALDEMAR
ARROWS OF THE QUEEN
ARRROW'S FLIGHT
ARROW'S FALL
 
THE LAST HERALD-MAGE
MAGIC'S PAWN
MAGIC'S PROMISE
MAGIC'S PRICE
 
THE MAGE WINDS
WINDS OF FATE
WINDS OF CHANGE
WINDS OF FURY
 
THE MAGE STORMS
STORM WARNING
STORM RISING
STORM BREAKING
 
KEROWYN'S TALE
BY THE SWORD
 
VOWS AND HONOR
THE OATHBOUND
OATHBREAKERS
OATHBLOOD
 
BRIGHTLY BURNING
 
DARKOVER NOVEL
(
with Marion Zimmer Bradley
)
REDISCOVERY
 
THE BLACK SWAN
 
TAKE A THIEF
1
KNIGHT'S GAMBIT
1
 
THE SERPENT'S SHADOW
PHOENIX AND ASHES
1
THE GATES OF SLEEP
1
 
Written with
LARRY DIXION:
 
THE MAGE WARS
THE BLACK GRYPHON
THE WHITE GRYPHON
THE SILVER GRYPHON
 
OWLFLIGHT
OWLSIGHT
OWLKNIGHT
Copyright © 2000 by Mercedes R. Lackey.
eISBN : 978-1-101-11907-5
All Rights Reserved.
 
 
For color prints of Jody Lee's paintings, please contact:
The Cerridwen Enterprise
P.O. Box 10161
Kansas City, MO 64111
1-800-825-1281
 
Interior art by Larry Dixon
 
DAW Book Collectors No. 1150.
 
DAW Books are distributed by Penguin Putnam Inc.
 
 
All characters and events in this book are fictitious.
All resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
First Printing, June 2001
DAW TRADEMARK REGISTERED U.S. PAT. OFF. AND FOREIGN COUNTRIES —MARCA REGISTRADA HECHO EN U.S.A.
 
S.A .

http://us.penguingroup.com

To all the unsung heroes
who stood by
on the evening of December 31, 1999
to ensure that we crossed into the year 2000
with our safety, security, and peace intact.
OFFICIAL TIMELINE FOR THE by Mercedes Lackey
HERALDS OF VALDEMAR SERIES
Sequence of events by
Valdemar
reckoning
ONE
L
AVAN Chitward hated his mother's parties at the best of times, and this one was no exception. When the Guildmaster of the Cloth Merchants' Guild beckoned to him, he unconsciously hunched his shoulders, assuming he was about to receive yet another homily on hard work, his third for this particular party.
“Here you go, lad,” the Guildmaster said, shoving a parcel at him.
Lan gaped at the squarish package in the Guildmaster's hands as the babble of partygoers rattled on around him. Words stuck in Lavan's throat, uncomfortable and sharp-edged.
Oh, gods. Now what am I supposed to say?
He was already nervous enough before this guest of his parents singled him out; this only made him more self-conscious. Lavan flushed, forehead sweating, and could only stare at the so-called “present” that middle-aged, red-faced Guildmaster Howell was holding out to him, and tried to think of a response. Any response. Well, maybe not
any
response; if he said what he really thought, his father would skin him.
“Uh—this is—you really shouldn't have gone to so much trouble, Guildmaster,” he managed, his stomach churning, as the older man thrust the package at him with hands from which traces of dye would never disappear as long as he lived. The skin was faintly blue, but the nail bed was indigo, giving Lan the unsettling impression he was taking a package from a corpse. The Guildmaster shoved the packet into Lavan's reluctant fingers and let it go, forcing Lan to take it or let it fall. And much as he would have liked to let it fall, he knew that he would never hear the end of it if he did. He fumbled for it and tried not to show how little he wanted it.
His hands closed around it convulsively, and the cloth package fell open, revealing a set of cloth-merchant's tools. There was a lens for examining fabric closely, a rule to determine thread count, a small pair of scissors, other things—exactly what he'd dreaded seeing.

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