It's the 2nd in the series, so if you haven't read The Lost Heir, it'd probably be best to start there, otherwise you'll be a little confused. But nonetheless, what a better way to celebrate this #FanFridayFavorite than with one of my favorite passages from Awakening?
The following scene occurs between Mionee and Détaldin about half-way through the book. I never get tired of reading this exchange because it's so raw and personal. It shows what Mionee has gone through and the torment she continues to experience. Things are rarely black and white, and this passage displays the complexity of her character and strips her down for the reader to see on an intimate and personal level.
What do you think? What was your first reaction when you finished reading it? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
"At the first hint of disloyalty, Niemel will force me to kill you. But that is not all. He knows I care for you. He is a sadistic being who takes pleasure in the suffering of others. Even if I am loyal to a fault, he will still force me to kill you, not only to ensure I remain loyal, but to see the pain in my eyes when you take your last breath! I know it without him ever uttering the words! I didn't want to agree, but I had not choice!"
Anger flashed in Détaldin's pale green eyes, and he let go of her hands as if she'd stung him. "There is always a choice!"
"What would you have me do?" she snapped, her voice low and urgent. "For weeks I have been living a prisoner to your precious king's will. He lied to me, poisoned me, silenced me, and bound me to him all before he could call me his wife. The marriage ceremony merely set my fate in stone for all the world to see.
"I have spent every night since my wedding being repeatedly raped and beaten by that bastard. He grew more vicious with each visit. Slaps turned to punches which turned to kicks. The penetration grew rougher and lasted longer, leaving me raw and bleeding. My life was forfeit. I knew, and I didn't care. He could do whatever the hell he wanted to me. But I was damned if I was going to let him take the life of my baby."
"I'm sorry, Mionee. I didn't know..."
"No, you didn't know! No one did! No one asked! No one cared! No one took a minute to open their eyes and recognize the horrific truth staring them in the bloody face! Of the dozens of people I interacted with, only Biran knew! He was the only one in that damn castle who took the time to listen and provide me with a semblance of the friendship I needed! Biran was the only one I had when everyone else turned their backs to me, and the asshole killed him too!"
She clenched her hands into fists. "Garenth took everything from me, Détaldin! Everything! My entire sense of self was stripped away! I was no longer human, nor even an animal. I was nothing. I had no reason to live. I lost the will to fight. I lost the will to resist. Every night I prayed I wouldn't wake the next morning. I simply wanted to die.
"But then the Hellborn gave me a proposition. I could remain in my current situation, or I could join his cause and be freed from Garenth's chains. At first I refused. I would rather die than participate in Niemel's evil. Then, he showed me my baby. Until that moment I hadn't known I was pregnant. Still silenced, I hadn't been able to feel the life inside me. So small. So innocent. So precious. The Hellborn didn't need to state the obvious. One more night with Garenth meant my child would die."
Pausing, Mionee let her words hang in the air. "Think of that, Détaldin," she challenged. "Think of that and then tell me I had a bloody choice."
© 2015 by Andi O'Connor