The thirteen-year-old slave girl lives in the country of Yoan, where slaves aren't allowed proper names, let alone anything else. After being sold by a gambler and "bought" by a thief, she ends up purchased by an eccentric young nobleman named Lord Domrey Seranfyll...while he's drunk. He's so smashed that he actually buys nine other slaves with Rain and takes them to his massive manor in the countryside, which is rumored to be haunted. In fact, loads of rumors surround Lord Domrey. Like that his horse can fly. Or that he's a devil.
But after getting even more intoxicated, Lord Domrey does something rather peculiar: He sets all ten slaves free that same day. And then he passes out. Many of the newly freed slaves leave, but Rain chooses to stay and look after the odd young lord. He freed them, so he can't be as bad as people say, right?
But Rain's going to learn quickly that choices have consequences, and that being "free" means much more than what she thought before.
Fans of Harry Potter and Howl's Moving Castle will enjoy this humorous and magical tale about choices, consequences, and what it really means to be free.
(~ 87,000 words and roughly equal to 330 print pages)
Some of the townspeople laughed and pointed at him. "Who is that? What a silly fellow," one of them said.
"Why that's Lord Domrey Seranfyll!" someone else replied. "Have you ever seen anyone so ridiculous?"
"Well, he can certainly afford to be ridiculous. He's only the richest man in the province now."
"I knew he was strange. But I've never seen him drunk before!"
"You haven't? I've never seen him sober."
Lord Domrey ignored the pointing and laughing and continued singing his slippery and senseless song. His horse sidled up next to Snevil's cart and snorted. Rain had to look twice. She thought the creature had rolled its eyes.
The rider turned in her direction and hiccoughed in surprise. "Ay? Who are you?" he asked.
Rain said nothing. She wasn't sure how to respond, or even if she should.
He leaned towards her, squinting. The alcohol from his foul breath nearly knocked her over. "You are organic, aren't you?" he asked. "Or am I talking to a statue again?"
Snevil ran to the horse's other side. "Beggin' yer pardon, young Master. But let me introduce meeself. I am Snevil, yer humble servant."
Lord Domrey looked down at the slave trader. "Snevil?" he repeated, followed by a hiccough. "That's a funny name. It sounds like you're a sick and serious fellow."
Snevil snickered. "I'm about to close up for today, m' Lord. But if you happen to see any lass or lad servant here that you'd like to purchase, I'll be happy to stay open a little longer."
"Servants?" Lord Domrey repeated. He swung his leg around and slipped from the horse. His boot heels landed on the ground with a clomp! "I don't want servants. I want guests! Don't you know that today is my birthday?" He jabbed an unsteady finger into Snevil's weak little chest four times with his last four words.
"And many happy returns, m' Lord," the slave trader said. "As a birthday present, I'll give you a discount."
Lord Domrey swept erratically around to the back of the cart. He pointed the same unsteady finger at each of slaves as he counted, which he bungled twice. After the third time, he said, "My good Snevil. Am I correct when I say that you've ten children for sale?"
"Right you are, sir. A sharp young man, m' Lord is. Wise beyond his years."
Lord Domrey grinned at the compliment. He raised the bottle to his lips, but when he discovered it empty, he tossed it aside. "Right then. I'll take the lot."
Rain gasped, and others started to whisper. Who'd ever heard of someone buying ten slaves all at once?