The Shaming of the Warrior Princess
Leandra J. Piper
Copyright 2012 by Leandra J. Piper
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without the express written permission of the author or publisher for any purposes, except brief quotations in critical articles or reviews.
Alora came to in a windowless stone cell, a row of iron bars separating her from the hall. A long chain welded to an iron on her right ankle kept her from moving too far from the wall. Her armour was gone entirely; she was wearing a burlap shift that felt like it had been a sack not long before. She tried to think of how she'd gotten here, tried to remember the battle. It hadn't been going well, that much was sure. Where she had been, there shouldn't have been any fighting at all, and didn't that rankle. But someone had betrayed them, and the fighting had turned fiercest in the castle. She'd done her best, but she remembered getting driven back, her and her men, to her stepsister's chambers. Alora frowned to herself, trying to remember if Princess Lucette had come to any harm. She didn't think so, but that was near to the last thing she remembered. Had one of them gotten behind her? Or just gotten past her guard? She had a splitting headache. One of the enemy must had hit her in the head, hard enough to knock her out, somehow.
Was Lucette safe? If she'd failed to protect the heir to the throne, then what was she even still alive for? Alora growled under her breath, tossing her tangled black hair out of her head with a fluid motion with her head. She'd never find out in here. She couldn't see any guards posted particularly nearby. Maybe she'd have a good chance to make a break for it. She bent over, testing the strength of the thick iron chain. It didn't look good for her, she was sorry to admit. The links were awfully thick, and welded thoroughly enough to deal with any weak spots. Still, it behoved her to check every link. There only needed to be one weak one.