Willow Witch is book 2 in the Ghostspeaker Chronicles series by Patty Jansen
Here is a sample:
“Hey, you . . . water!” Sigvald yelled. He threw a bucket in Johanna’s direction. It was a battered farm bucket, stolen likely.
Johanna couldn’t help thinking about the burnt farm where they had found their supplies. The burnt kitchen, the dead bodies. And the Lady Sara still waiting for them at the riverside. She hoped the sea cows had enough to eat, or that someone would release them from their harnesses before the animals starved. Then another scary thought: someone might take off with the Lady Sara, and it was all she had left from her comfortable life in Saardam. Her father would need the ship if he was to keep running the company.
“Water!” Sigvald repeated with the sharp wave of a hand.
“Yeah, I’m going.” Johanna picked up the bucket. “Keep an eye on Loesie,” she whispered to Nellie. “And Roald, too.”
Nellie nodded, her mouth set in a grim line.
Slowly Johanna picked her way down the side of the hill, between the gnarled tree roots.
Sigvald yelled behind her to hurry up, and added some words that made the other bandits burst out in laughter.
Last thing she heard was Nellie’s voice, saying something about, Do you call that bread?
The bread the bandits had given their prisoners at midday was heavy, grainy and almost black. Johanna had seen the type before on her trip to Lurezia, where her father’s colleagues had shared this type of bread with wine and rich cheeses. On its own, and stale, it had proven a little less easy to swallow.
Now Nellie was asking about beds, speaking loudly and slowly.
Johanna cringed. She had better get the water before Nellie got into too much trouble. She had never expected a demure maid like Nellie to become so doggedly stubborn about their treatment. It was almost frightening.
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