Honor and Privilege is the first of three Cargon books. As a post-apocalyptic renaissance, Cargon combines the feel of medieval fantasy with the science and speculative components of Science Fiction. It is a true Sci-Fi/Fantasy. Although the protagonist is female, this isn't a 'girl' book. Logic rules Eve more than emotion and the point of view in the story is shared with a male character, Adam.
Honor & PrivilegeIn a post-apocalyptic world, a lowly servant is at the front of a second renaissance.
Eve is born to the lowest caste, but her sharp mind brings her to the attention of the elite.
In an unprecedented move, she initiates a game of Cargon, the method elite use to rank themselves, and wins a place among them. From within, she sparks new ideas, ones that will literally enlighten her world.
Can she balance the sacrifices that come with her new privilege? Will she marry a partner that will bring her honor as well as love?
Whispers filled the hall, as they had every night. Tonight, however, they knew the game was over, but everyone was still in their places. Who had lost an honor? Who gained?
The first course came and went while the elite continued to speculate and find no answer. The High One put them out of their misery. “Second, where is your father's honor?” Her voice rang through the hall, bringing a hush to the others.
Eve gripped her pitchers more tightly. His father's honor? What did that mean? What did she have around her neck? The medallion felt colder and heavier. Only a few links of the chain showed on her chest, the rest tucked away.
“I'm afraid I lost it.” The elite looked amongst themselves again, trying to find the medallion.
The High One dropped her voice. “And you could not have given something lesser?”
“She deserved nothing less.”
At full volume she asked, “Then tell me, Vanto, who has joined our family?”
Vanto? Eve thought with confusion. He was Second; he would only be Vanto if... She paused in the middle of a stride. If another were made Second.
Eve considered running for the kitchen, especially as the Second rose from his seat. Barely starting in that direction, she had only reached the edge of one of her tables when he caught her. She shook as she dropped into a very deep curtsy. He was going to punish her now. That was the only thing that made sense.
Adam cringed, watching her shame herself. She didn’t know what she had won. Of course, none of those around him knew either. He took her pitchers and set them on the table. Her hands fell as soon as they released the silver, bracing on the floor. Her shoulders shook. Putting his hands to her neck, he slipped his fingers under the bits of chain exposed. She gasped, and he made a note to apologize later for the unavoidable contact. He lifted the medallion from under her dress and let it fall over her chest. The elite seated at the table gasped.
“Rise, kin.” Eve needed the order to make her move, but the address should soften the blow. He offered his hand and she took it, rising. Ashen, her eyes darted and rolled, testimony to her shock. At least he’d gotten her moving. He’d get her settled and give her time to recover. She leaned on him slightly, as though afraid of falling.
Leading, keeping her close to his side, he stopped before his mother. “Mother, may I introduce Eve?”
Eve froze, eyes popping, unnaturally still.
The High One rose. “It is wonderful to finally meet you, Eve.”
Finally? Comprehension came quickly. Someone had put Eve into Ernst Peter's class. Adam nearly fell as Eve's full weight fell on his arm. Bending a knee to brace her, he made sure it was as he suspected. She’d fainted. He smiled at his mother and chuckled.
Discover Kimberly Gould!
Kimberly Gould hates being called Kimmy, but her mother called her Kimmydonn and that was okay. She lives in Edmonton with her husband and daughter. When she isn't writing about the post-apocalyptic world, she is doing her best to prevent an apocalypse as an environmental consultant. She is the author of the Cargon series as well as Thickness of Blood and Never Say Die: A Zombie Time Loop Story. You can find her anywhere online as Kimmydonn, including her website, Kimmydonn.com.
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