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Dear Reader,

Years ago I had a dream. A city was burning, and inside the overthrown palace, two young women were confronting each other. One was a princess. The other was a bitter, battle-scarred rebel, there to kill the princess.

But they had a secret that would change the course of history for them both: they had once been friends, and the power of that friendship had never truly died.

I woke up and started writing, and the result was Reap the Whirlwind. This is one of my earliest works, and no doubt readers of my other stories will detect plenty of immaturities in the writing. But the story, the characters, and the central theme of friendship have never ceased to grip me, and so I offer this story to you now—humbly, and with gratitude. In many ways this is the story that made me a writer. I’m thankful to you for the part you’ve played in my own journey.

Blessings,

Rachel

Chapter 1


Morning. The sun cast a red hue over the chimneys and rooftops of Beren. It did its best to get into the alleys and dark, narrow streets, but they seemed to push it back. Light wasn’t allowed here. Not in the tenements, in the docks. In another part of town, the wide, clean streets welcomed the morning. But in the tenements, the rising sun was just a bitter reminder that life would go on.

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