Court of Fives
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In this imaginative escape into enthralling new lands, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott's first young adult novel weaves an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege.
Jessamy's life is a balance between acting like an upper-class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But away from her family she can be whoever she wants when she sneaks out to train for The Fives, an intricate, multilevel athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom's best contenders. Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an unlikely friendship between two Fives competitors--one of mixed race and the other a Patron boy--causes heads to turn. When Kal's powerful, scheming uncle tears Jes's family apart, she'll have to test her new friend's loyalty and risk the vengeance of a royal clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.
home and cover her.” “There’s no reason for you to be deliberately coarse!” I’m astonished at how much her comment annoys me. “If not for her, you and I would have been handed over to the temple.” Her anger makes the room hum. “Yes, we all like to praise her for that. But what if Father had insisted on giving us to the temple? Would she have stood up to him then?” Maraya raises a hand. “Your argument is a sieve that doesn’t hold water. Maybe he didn’t insist. But maybe he did and Mother
who isn’t my father! “Because I am young or because I am a mule?” “Because you are both. Patron women are protected by their clans. And every foreign man who reaches these shores soon learns that Commoner women are protected by the magic of their father’s mother. A dame’s evil eye can kill a man’s potency. But one like you has no clan and no Commoner grandmother on her father’s side. Your father was no fool to raise his daughters as if they were Patron girls. I feel sure he knew exactly how far
chair I lag behind, patting my forehead with a scrap of cloth and pretending to grimace in pain. Amaya points me out to him and he walks back to me. “Jessamy? It’s not like you to retreat from a challenge. I hope you are not afraid of appearing in public.” “Of course not, Father. The noise and dust have given me a headache. If I can close my eyes for a little without being disturbed, I am sure I will feel better right away and I will come back out.” He nods. I slip into the long tent that
lightless gulf we just traversed, a maw of darkness. “That is a very good question, Amiable,” she says in a brisk voice. “Who built this place originally? When it was buried, why was it not totally filled in with rubble? Think how strong the roof must be to have not collapsed under the weight of a hill.” “What are those lights?” asks Mother, twisting out of Ro-emnu’s supporting arm. She shades her eyes as against the sun. “What haunts us?” Out on the gulf of night, sparks of blazing light
prince who with Efea’s backing would then challenge him for Saro-Urok’s throne. But she escaped Elkorios’s plot by marrying Menos Garon and returning to Efea with his army.” Kalliarkos breaks in. “That’s not the only reason she married Menos. My grandmother harbored her own ambitions. She’s like you, Jes. Always running the next game in her head.” Thynos examines me to see how I will take this disconcerting compliment, but I wisely say nothing. “Twenty years later she set in motion an