This episode is a part of our Tales from the Vaults series, in which a member of PodCastle’s staff chooses a backlist episode to highlight and discuss. Today’s bonus episode was chosen by associate editor Kaitlyn Zivanovich. “Thorns” originally aired as PodCastle 279.
by Martha Wells
We reached the landing above the Hall. Below, Electra’s husband, Mr. John Dearing, was personally receiving a guest, a young man in the act of handing his greatcoat to the butler.
There were no guests expected, and just before the dinner hour is not considered an appropriate time for casual calls, yet Dearing was greeting this presumptuous fellow as a prodigal son.
He was a striking figure. (The guest, I mean. Dearing is a stout bewhiskered muskrat of a man, a fit mate for Electra.) Blond curls, broad shoulders, a chiseled profile. I felt a feather of unease travel down my spine; old instincts rousing, perhaps. His garments, though somewhat the worse for travel at this rainy time of year, were of fashionable cut and fine cloth.
Frowning, Electra caught the attention of one of the footmen stationed at the bottom of the stairs, and called him up to her to ask, “Why, William, whoever is that?”
“Madame, they say it’s a foreign Duke, the son of the King of Armantia.”
“I see,” Electra dismissed the man and looked to me, her mild dove eyes vaguely troubled. “Oh, dear. A prince.”
About the Author
Martha Wells has written well over a dozen fantasy novels, including the Books of the Raksura series (The Cloud Roads, The Serpent Sea, The Siren Depths, Stories of the Raksura Vol. I, Stories of the Raksura vol. II), The Wizard Hunters, Wheel of the Infinite, and the nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer, as well as YA fantasies, short stories, and non-fiction. She has had stories in Black Gate, Realms of Fantasy, Stargate Magazine, Lightspeed Magazine, and in the anthologies Elemental, Tales of the Emerald Serpent, and The Other Half of the Sky. She has also written the media-tie-ins, Stargate Atlantis: Reliquary, Stargate Atlantis: Entanglement, and Star Wars: Razor’s Edge. Her new book in the Raksura series, The Edge of Worlds, will be out in April 2016.
About the Narrator
Her work includes Tor.com novella, Desdemona and the Deep, her short novel The Twice-Drowned Saint (found in Mythic Delirium’s most recent anthology The Sinister Quartet), and a poetry collection, How to Flirt in Faerieland and Other Wild Rhymes, featuring her Rhysling Award-winning poem, “The Sea King’s Second Bride.” Her forthcoming novel, Saint Death’s Daughter, will be out with Solaris in 2022. Cooney’s short fiction and poetry can be found in Jonathan Strahan’s Book of Dragons, Ellen Datlow’s Mad Hatters and March Hares: All-New Stories from the World of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Rich Horton’s Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, and elsewhere.