A shaky Marta followed Mother Cailyn down the spacious aisle of the mews to a roomy open stall. Her shoulders were so tense they ached. So much was riding on this. Her whole assignment. Success or failure. She was breathing so fast the cold air burned through her sinuses. Cailyn stopped in front of a stall.
It was unlike any stall she'd ever seen on any world—half walls of smooth stone, flagstone floor, rare, gleaming, dark wood framing the opening. An enormous pile of clean golden straw laid in one corner partitioned off by another half wall of polished wood. Light from a row of clerestory windows at the back brightened the space. A long, bronze-colored flight feather lay against a side wall, reflecting fire in the light.
"This is Sidhari."
Marta couldn't move. Cailyn pushed her inside.
The enormous Karda was beautiful. No, she was beyond beautiful. Her hawk head sat atop the long graceful neck of her horse body. A dark mane started just below the feathers of her crest, long and glossy. Her tail swept the ground. Sidhari's wings were lighter than the hair on her body, gold mahogany, with long bronze-gold flight feathers. Her sleek body shone; her bay coat shaded to black from hocks and knees down. Four long, sharp, black talons tipped huge avian feet.Read More