The Lady of the Lions
This short story takes place about 150 years before the start of the full length novel In a Milk and Honeyed Land. The setting of Kephrath itself in the Canaanite hill country will be familiar from the novel, but of course none of the characters overlap. A small glossary at the end will help readers who are not familiar with the novel to orient themselves in this world.Belita-Labiy found it difficult to concentrate, though, with the news rippling around the hill country. So far the raids had not been too close, but from all that she had heard, these groups of men were swift to move, and swift to strike, wherever they pleased. Who could say which town they might visit next?So she knew that her dancing, while apparently as fluent and potent as ever, lacked the whole-hearted commitment that she preferred. It could not be helped, but the distraction nagged at her. So all the while that she danced like Taliy in the earliest garden, and later as her body thrilled and her voice cried out in lovemaking, part of her soul was anxiously flitting around the uplands, trying to guess what would happen next.