Negotiation

“Even here in the north, the Children of Yisrael pass tales from mouth to ear. Pilgrims come bearing them. Some years ago, one came to my ears. I have heard the tale of how the angel known as Pride was defeated when a D’Angeline woman spoke the Name of God, and the Master of the Straits was freed. I spent my youth in the Flatlands. I know his power. And I see knowledge that does not belong there in your eyes.”

Phèdre said nothing.

“You did not tell me,” the Rebbe said to me.

“Would it have mattered?” I asked, echoing Tadeuz Vral.

The Rebbe smiled. “I suppose not.”

“Did you expect me to invoke the aid of the Master of the Straits and threaten to bring heaven’s wrath down on Vralia if Prince Tadeuz had sought retribution against Imriel?” Phèdre asked mildly.

“I thought it was possible.” His voice was grave. “You have named the young man your son. I do not discount the ferocity of a mother’s love.”

“Ah, well.” She favored him with another sweet, disarming smile. “I would have negotiated first.”

From Kushiel’s Justice, p. 788 (in my copy).

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