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A reader asks if we're ever going to see again the soul who was Bagoas in Stealing Fire. Yes! In fact we already have briefly in The General's Mistress, though Elza didn't recognize Bagoas because she didn't consciously remember. That changes in the next book, The Emperor's Agent.

This is a dream sequence early in the book, in which Elza dreams she's having a conversation with her old friend.

It was a long way back to Paris. I slept with the letter beneath my pillow, of course, in every inn where I stayed.

I dreamed, and in my dream I stood in a garden, stark rectangular pool bordered by a weeping almond tree, walls about carved with ancient princes, and above the clear azure sky of distant lands. I dreamed, and in my dream I sat beside a young man with long black hair, his green eyes reflecting the waters, the light dancing on his face, beautiful and serene.

"I come here," he said, "To remember."

"As do I," I said.

He reached out and stirred the water with one hand idly, long and graceful fingers, a beauty just past his prime. "I did not want to be in this story," he said. "I didn't. But fate left me no choice. And now for better or worse I must play the queen. It is not what I intended."

I bent my head, flashes of fire on the water, fire and the memory of fire. "Would you truly be free of this if you could?"

"Not now," he said, looking out over the pool, a breeze stirring his hair. "Not now. But when I was younger I only wanted heart's ease. Can you not understand that?"

"Of course I can, my friend," I said. "I have known a little of sorrow too."

"And once again you will choose your own way, master all or be mastered." He smiled, and I thought it was a fond smile, though his face was drawn and tired. "You act as though we can choose who we will be. I told you that before, if you remember."

"I do," I said, "And I believe it still. I am a Companion because I choose to be, not because destiny binds me. I choose out of love."

"As do I," he said. "Choose well."

I woke. It was dawn, and I slept in the loft room of an inn, Charles's shirt about me and the letter in my hand. And I knew what I would do.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 24th, 2013 12:43 pm (UTC)
Apr. 24th, 2013 07:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I love Bagoas so much -- in any incarnation!
Apr. 24th, 2013 06:02 pm (UTC)
This is wonderful. I loved Bagoas (and his relationship with Lydias) in Stealing Fire, I can't wait to see what happens here.
Apr. 24th, 2013 07:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I love Bagoas, and the decisions both of them make as a result of this scene drive the action of the rest of the book.
Apr. 29th, 2013 01:06 pm (UTC)
If you want to believe in reincarnation, here's one for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZMMOWhkkdc
Apr. 29th, 2013 02:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Bagoas
I've seen his videos before! Isn't he amazing?
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )