ARYA STARK x TWELFTH NIGHT
As her kingdom’s foremost spy, Princess Eline Stoneheart has worn many faces but rarely her own. When her brother is murdered, the identity she must steal to seek revenge is a new one—her enemy’s betrothed. For Eline, impersonation has always been easy, but the deeper she sinks into her new role, the more she questions how much of what she’s feeling is simply an act and how far she’s willing to go to avenge her brother.
Some people fight with swords and knives, but my faces have always been my greatest weapon.
I trace the line of my jaw with my thumb—the shape of it still mine for a few more minutes—as the bitter morning breeze sends a shiver running down my spine. It’s impossible to escape the acrid scent of smoke and sewage, even when crouched on a rooftop high above the street.
My body is restless. My magic, even more so. Soon, the morning bells will toll and I’ll shift into yet another guise. The fourth—no, fifth—I’ve worn since arriving in our southern capital. All spies are masters of deception, but I have one advantage most don’t—a myriad of faces. I borrow them from strangers, steal them from criminals and traitors.
Traitors like the wine merchant.
In the market square below me, he prepares to open his stall for likely the last time, unaware that I’m tracking his every movement. With my help, he’ll face the gallows at dusk.
The familiar pang of guilt shocks my gut, but I ignore it. He isn’t the first man I’ve condemned to death, and he won’t be the last. Though it’s not an easy task, it’s the price of keeping my brother safe. A price I’m willing to pay.