Iara remained quiet as her father hauled her through the streets of the spaceport. Her dress tried to trip her feet, and her mother walked behind her, her head covered in dark netting the concealed her features.
The family bodyguards surrounded them and pushed through the crowds that gathered to see Kozue walk the pavement of Saroo.
Iara Hanikada stumbled but kept her head high. Her father kept his grip on her arm, but he eased his pace.
They continued through the spaceport to the administration centre. An escort was waiting for them.
The royal guard surrounded the man with the prefect markings tattooed on his face.
He stepped forward. “Is this the great talent?”
Battle Captain Rehzik Hanikada eased his daughter forward. “Here she is. You will take care of her as I have instructed?”
Iara blinked up at the man with the heavily tattooed face.
He smiled down at her, and she felt the attack coming a moment before the warrior struck.
Her father held his men back.
Iara turned to face the man coming at her with a knife. She held out her hand, and he paused in place, relaxing his arms and his mind coming to a slow, humming, calm state.
Iara looked back to the prefect and gave a small curtsy. Her mother had taught her the gesture just that morning, and she heard a small sob behind her.
Iara turned and walked back to her mother, taking her hand and filling her with calm and harmony. “This is where I need to be, Mother.”
“Be well. I will come back when I can to see you.”
“Remain safe, Mother. I will be here, alive and strong when you return.”
Iara squeezed her hand and bowed to her father. He bowed in return, and she walked to the prefect. “We can go now.”
She took his hand, and he blinked in surprise. “I don’t feel anything.”
Iara sighed, “Of course not. I am just not supposed to run around without an adult with me.”
He tossed a bag to her father, and it clinked with the sound of credit chits. “Well, then, shall we head to the palace? King Learith is eager to meet you.”
She nodded and straightened her shoulders. “I think we should since I live here now.”
He chuckled. “By all means, let us go to the palace.”
Iara tried to keep the tears back as they travelled through the city to the place where she would serve as bodyguard to the ruler of the world. They had paid her family a lot of money for her services, but they could have had her for the asking. There was no room for calm and harmony on a Kozue ship. They thrived on conflict and combat.
While she sat in the transport that took her to the palace, a few fat tears ran down her cheeks and she brushed at them, trying to remain calm and stoic.
She tried to remember that she was allowed to cry. After all, she was only nine years old.
Iara is a Konzue with a talent that doesn’t fit with the warring species. She brings calmness and harmony and so is sold to a king to be his passive bodyguard at the ripe old age of nine. But when the king dies, he gives her an opportunity for a better life. A life with choice instead of bonded servitude. Rion is also a Konzue, but his family supported his talented even as they thought it was unsporting. Can he convince Iara to see him as a possible mate? Will Iara understand the reason Rion unsettles her harmonic nature?
Creating Harmony by Viola Grace is twenty-sixth in the Tales of the Citadel series. Iara’s family sold her and while on the surface she appears to accept their failing, she hides her hurt even from herself. And Rion’s familial support rubs that wound raw whenever they work together. But she continues to do her job and, in spite of herself, gets to know the man behind the talent. Rion has been trying to get Iara to notice him. When smooth lines didn’t work he began annoying her, at least then he is able to get beneath her calm. Can he get Iara to see him and not his species?
I think Ms. Grace gave us a well-written story and enjoyable addition to this series. I wasn’t quite sure if I bought Iara and Rion’s chemistry but overall the story was okay.
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