The Idiot king is the third book in the Ghostspeaker Chronicles.
This is how it starts:
THE LETTER was written in cramped, barely literate hand. The writer had used cheap paper which turned pen strokes into blobs and did not improve its legibility. Neither did the poor light that fell into the boat shed through the open front.
Fleuris LaFontaine had given the letter to Johanna only after she had specifically requested to see it, twice, and Master Deim had asked him to give it to her and Fleuris could no longer go on ignoring Johanna’s presence. He had pushed it across the rough wood of the simple table with his be-ringed, delicate hand, wrists barely protruding from the lace cuffs—dirty lace cuffs to be sure. Nothing in the refugee camps was still pristine.
Johanna had taken the letter, coolly, chin in the air, and said, “Thank you.” She’d unfolded the sheet, making sure that the men in the room wouldn’t notice that her hands trembled. Those men continued their discussion, as if she weren’t there, about the occupation of Saardam, and people who had or hadn’t made it out and assets that may or may not have been destroyed.
Most of it was pure speculation, but they spoke as if those statements were fact.
Johanna had just calmed down from being angry about being told that the Council of Nobles meeting was for men of import and not for wives or consorts, and now she got angry again. This was how stupid rumours started in the camp of refugee Saarlanders, because the nobles speculated idly, and then the other people took their words for fact, Because they were important men. Because people had been waiting for news for weeks and the waiting and endless days of no news were getting on everybody’s nerves.
“What does it say?” Roald, who sat next to her, leaned over her shoulder to read.
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