The Pirate’s Wish is still about a month away, but I do have a new short story out that’s all about Marjani.
Like “The Witch’s Betrayal,” it takes place prior to the events in The Assassin’s Curse. Marjani is sailing to Lisirra after being exiled from her homeland when her ship is taken by pirates. With the help of a mechanical crocodile, she promises to lead the pirates to great treasure in order to save her life. Here’s an exerpt:
I went down below. Father had arranged for a private cabin, the last gift he ever gave me. It was large enough that if I lay flat on my back my feet would touch one end and the top of my head the other, but right now it felt claustrophobic and dark despite the magic-cast lantern swinging in the corner. I pulled out my trunk and rifled through its belongings, looking for something that might work as a weapon. The closest I found was a decorative hairpin, a long silver spike topped with jeweled flowers. She had given it to me, a sign that she knew who I really was, a sign that she was officially in on the joke. Some joke, that got me kicked out of my homeland.
I shoved my trunk back into place, pulled down my cot, and stretched out on my back, holding the hairpin to my chest.
The ship rocked along, as calm as always. Occasionally feet pounded overhead, and the lantern would flare and then sputter — magic, I assumed, working its way through the walls.
I wrapped my fingers more tightly around the hairpin, the jewels digging into my palm. I closed my eyes, whispered her name.
A loud, cracking boom.
Currently, the story is available as an ebook at The Angry Robot Trading Co., where it costs £0.59 (about one US dollar). It should be going on Amazon eventually, although this version is DRM free, so you can convert it to a MOBI format pretty easily.
Hope you enjoy!