Author: Morgan Rhodes “A life without wine and beauty isn’t worth living. Don’t you agree, princess?” Aron slung his arm around Cleo’s shoulders as the group of four walked along the dusty, rocky country path. They’d been in port for less than two hours and he was already drunk, a fact not unduly startling when it came to Aron. Cleo’s glance fell on their apanying palace guard. His eyes flashed with displeasure at Aron’s proximity to the princess of Auranos. But the guard’s concern wasn’t necessary. Despite the fancy jeweled dagger Aron always wore on a sheath hanging from his belt, he was no more dangerous than a butterfly. A drunk butterfly. “I couldn’t agree more,” she said, lying only a little. “Are we almost there?” Mira asked. The beautiful girl with long dark reddish hair and smooth flawless skin was both Cleo’s friend and her older sister’s lady-in-waiting. When Emilia decided to stay home due to a sudden headache, she’d insisted that Mira apany Cleo on this trip. Once the ship arrived in the harbor, a dozen of their friends chose to remainfortably on board while Cleo and Mira joined Aron on his journey to a nearby village to find the “perfect” bottle of wine. The palace wine cellars were stocked with thousands of bottles of wine from both Auranos and Paelsia, but Aron had heard of a particular vineyard whose output was supposedly unparalleled. At his request, Cleo booked one of her father’s ships and invited many of their friends on the trip to Paelsia expressly in search of his ideal bottle.