|Stars of Quentaris
- Michael Pryor
|| My Quentaris books are really about the
importance of family. 'Stars of Quentaris' marks an important
point in Nisha's life. The death of her parents has weighed
heavily on her, and the events in this new book are a chance
for her to see if she can come to terms with this tragedy. At
the same time, Tal has his own troubles to deal with. 'Stars
of Quentaris' lets me explore how these two young people deal
with the troubles of the past while coping with the challenges
of the present.
A missing star? A fabulous reward? Nisha and Tal are ready for
With the well-meaning assistance of Tal’s musical mentor Esbandalon,
Nisha and Tal are matched against hordes of other treasure seekers
in a helter-skelter race to find a missing celestial visitor. But
first they must face pursuit by Voiceless Rin and his brigade of ruffians.
citizens of Quentaris!’ cried Manasseh, the chamberlain, from
the balcony of the Archon’s palace. ‘On this fourteenth
day of the month of Leffen, your Archon has an important message for
Nisha Fairsight stood in the crush in the Square of the People with
her friend Tal.
Curious, they’d followed the crowds streaming through the streets
towards the square and the palace. From the chatter and hubbub, important
news was afoot.
Nisha stood on tiptoes. ‘Is the Archon there?’ she asked
‘No.’ He looked around at the milling crowd.
‘But it seems like everyone else is.’
Manasseh cleared his throat, shook the scroll in his hands, and continued.
‘Your Most Beneficent Archon is offering a reward for information.’
This caused a stir. Everyone knew the Archon was changeable of mood,
sometimes indecisive, sometimes quick to take offence, sometimes hard
to fathom, and often unpredictable. It was also common knowledge that
he was extremely stingy. While he didn’t mind taxing the citizens
and businesses of Quentaris, he was loath to spread that money around.
A reward put up by the Archon? More than a few in the crowd pinched
themselves to make sure they weren’t dreaming.
Astonished mutters ran through those gathered in the square. Several
urchins hurried off to fetch adults. People climbed on the marble
statues scattered around the square or cupped hands to ears to hear
Nisha managed to drag Tal through the throng and scramble onto the
plinth at the base of the statue of Baron Arlingea, the hero of the
Battle of Orlondy River. From here they could see over the crowd to
the palace balcony.
Manasseh gathered himself. ‘The stars above our great city have
sent a message to your brave Archon. A star is missing and must be
returned to the heavens. Your Archon is offering one hundred gold
royals to anyone who can find it.’