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This week's Snark is from Circle of the Butterfly. As a teen, Shannen Marsi (a thief and a liar) made a deal with the Oracle of Kelmarin...her service in exchange for a stay of execution. After her daughter died, she spent six months drunk and earned herself a series of demotions. The most recent removed her from service entirely and triggered the reinstatement of her thirty year old death sentence. In this scene, she is sitting in a prison cell, and the kingdom's future queen has come to pay her a visit.
Vanessa laughed in disgusted disbelief, “You think that slut Miante could rule the Kelmarin and I couldn’t?”
“Miante was a devoted student of Eric Griffin. And when it comes down to who’s a slut and who’s not…you have your prince and you’re messing around with Lord Leantry.”
The princess threw her hand across the older woman's face. “And you’ll take that to the guillotine with you.”
“That’s not all I take to the guillotine.”
“Sarana permitted the king’s affair with your mother, was complicit even, but she has no right in the law to do so,” Shannen told her. “The passage lords forgave the affair on the condition that if Briar ever returned home, the arrangement would be honored. Thus…Sarana lying about Mia being his cousin, so she wouldn’t be in the way, and then you had to ruin that. Eric was going to amend the law to remove adultery from the criminal statutes…that would have pardoned Fayal, and thus freed Briar…but he died before he could sign. And I know…know…little princess, that your boyfriend was somehow involved with everything.”
“The king’s heart failed him,” Vanessa reminded her, and Shannen was inclined to think that the younger woman believed that.
“The thing I don’t understand is why Cannen would want you to marry another man.” Shannen whispered wearily.
“You’ve never been quick at politics,” Vanessa said. Shannen agreed. “I was going to offer you a deal. Public apology in return for reinstatement, but I’ve changed my mind.”
Shannen laughed. “I wouldn’t kiss your ass if it looked like Charles.”
“So be it,” Vanessa told her. “Roast in Hell.”
“Save me a place beside you on the boat and I’ll bring the sauce,” Shannen said brightly. Vanessa threw open the door and stormed out.
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