Weekend Reading: Guy Gavriel Kay: Rhiannon of the Birds, Rhiannon of the Horses...
Weekend Reading: In the novels of Guy Gavriel Kay, even the mortal humans are of Faerie:
Rhiannon of the Birds, Rhiannon of the Horses...: From Guy Gavriel Kay (2004), The Last Light of the Sun (New York: Roc: 0451459857), pp. 46-7::
'Needful as warmed wine in winter,' someone Alun couldn't see offered from down the room. Approval for that, a nicely phrased offering. Winter memory in midsummer, the phrase near to poetry. The hostess turned to Dai, politely, beyond her husband and the cleric, to let the other Cadyri prince have a turn.
'Needful as night's end,' Dai said gravely, without a pause, which was very good, actually. An image of darkness, the fear of it, a dream of dawn, when the god returned from his journey under the world.
As the real applause for this faded, as they waited for someone to throw the third leg of the triad, a young woman entered the room.
She moved quietly, clad in green, belted in gold, with gold in the brooch at her shoulder and on her fingers, to the empty place beside Enid at the high table--which would have told Alun who this was, if the look and manner of her hadn't immediately done so. He stared, knew he was doing so, didn't stop.
As she seated herself, aware--very obviously aware--that all eyes were upon her, including those of an indulgent father, she looked down the table, taking in the company, and Alun was made intensely conscious of dark eyes (like her mother's), very black hair under the soft green cap, and skin whiter than... any easy phrase that came to mind.
And then he heard her murmur, voice rich, husky for one so young, unsettling: 'Needful as night, I think many women would rather say.'
And because this was Rhiannon mer Brynn, through that crowded hall men felt that they knew exactly what she was saying, and wished that the words had been for their ears alone, whispered close at candle-time, not in company at table. And they thought that they could kill or do great deeds that it might be made so.
Alun could see his brother's face as this green-gold woman-girl turned to Dai, whose phrase she had just echoed and challenged. And because he knew his brother better than he knew anyone else on the god's earth, Alun saw the world change for Dai in that crossing of glances...