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Tender Morsels is a dark and vivid story, set in two worlds and worrying at the border between them. Liga lives modestly in her own personal heaven, a world given to her in exchange for her earthly life. Her two daughters grow up in this soft place, protected from the violence that once harmed their mother. But the real world cannot be denied forever—magicked men and wild bears break down the borders of Liga’s refuge. Now, having known Heaven, how will these three women survive in a world where beauty and brutality lie side by side?
From the Hardcover edition.
sorrows in their childhoods were in fact off-drawings from much greater tragedies, from which she had tried to keep them but could not. And the joys she had had of them, too, their embraces and laughter—it was all too intense to be endured, this connection with them, which was a miniature of the connection with the forces that drove planet and season—the relentlessness of them, the randomness, the susceptibility to glory, to accident, to disaster. How soft had been her life in that other place,
happened. Think of that.” “How can you walk!” Urdda whispered fiercely. “How can you smile—I have seen you—you smile at Widow Fox in the market! How can you stop yourself saying, Your son—your precious son—did this to me when he was younger!” “Widow Fox is not to blame. And her boy himself I have seen, him and Thurrow Cleaver and—They are none of them the same lads as they were. They are never two of them together, for one. I think they do not like to remind themselves what they goaded each
startling red. The sky was clear blue through them, with a white puff here and there of cloud. Past Marta’s Font, with the glint of always falling water and the battered cup on its chain, the carriage rushed, and the coachman slowed the horses only slightly for the narrow place, just above the dell where the ruined cottage continued to crumble away. I used to sit in that house, Mam said in Urdda’s memory, her voice fine and chill through the scraping and squeaking of branches against the
clean ale, filling me for my day’s wild work. We roared and clawed the air and ran back and forth along the battlement. We all but threw ourselves off the top, leaning out fierce and threatening. Every child does this, boy or girl, in play. But we were not playing; we were the real bears that children wanted to be, to terrify the world and bring spring. I don’t remember getting down to the streets, I was so ahead of myself, so gone from myself. But I did, and then there were simple rules to
fell away. Why would nothing do as she told it? The drifty clouds followed their own breeze; the sky dreamed; in the great hard world, sticks stuck out and scraped you, stones tripped you, trees stood silent and required you to find your way among them. Everything ignored Urdda, no matter how angry she grew. “I have not brought Branza today!” she called into the emptiness. “I believe in you! You can show yourself and I will not be frightened. Come on, bright thing, whoever you were!” The