EXCERPT from the PRELUDE:

"I knew better than to look a gift horse in the mouth, though that was the first thing I did. Her yellow teeth had grown as long as my thumb, but she showed no signs of mistreatment.

Father scuffed the ground with his foot, avoiding my gaze. “I know she has none of the spirit you are used to, but Mother insisted I find you a docile mare.”

Docile. Obedient. Sweet. Mother struggled to cultivate those particular traits in me, so she’d mired me with a half-dead mare instead."

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