The king stood outside his tent, staring into the nightfire. What does he see there? Victory? Doom? The face of his red and hungry god? His eyes were sunk in deep pits, his close-cropped beard no more than a shadow across his hollow cheeks and bony jawbone. Yet there was power in his stare, an iron ferocity that told Asha this man would never, ever turn back from his course.
“You have to know your name,” he’d told his sister. “You… you told me you were Esgred, but that was a lie. Your name is Asha.” “It is,” his sister had said, so softly that he was afraid that she might cry.”