The Outstretched Shadow



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There were three of them, very slender volumes bound in some fine-grained dark leather, with just a touch of gilt on the spine. Kellen found himself turning them over in his hands with some puzzlement. There was nothing on the spine of each but a single image--a sun, a crescent moon, and a star. Nothing on the cover, not even a bit of tooling

Odd. Definitely out of keeping with the rest of the used bookseller's wares.

The title pages were handwritten, not printed. The Book of Sun. The Book of Moon. The Book of Stars. He leafed through the pages, trying to puzzle out the tiny writing. The contents were handwritten as well .. . and seemingly dealt with magic.

They shouldn't be here at all! Kellen thought with a sudden surge of glee. Books on magic were very closely kept. Without bothering to look through them further, he put them on the top of his pile and caught the stallholder's eye.

"Got younger sibs at home, do you?" the man asked as he wrote up a bill of sale with the merest stub of a graphite rod.

"No," said Kellen, startled. "Why do you ask?"

"Well, children's stories--" the man gestured at the three books. He handed Kellen his receipt.

Kellen studied it in confusion. What was this? Tales of the Weald, Fables of Farm and Field, and Hearth-side Stories?

There was something very odd about those books.
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