One day when Ciara was still very young, Connor invited her up to see him in his throne room. It was rare for her to get to see him and even rarer for them to meet in such a public place, so of course she was excited. She spent most of the visit exploring the great room, trying to memorize every corner of it and the way it felt to be there with her father. It was only after she'd grown tired of exploring that Connor sat down on his throne and beckoned for her to join him. He took her up in his lap and gave her a kiss on the top of her head, the way he did sometimes when she was feeling sad. But when she looked up at him, he didn't look back at her.
"Be young while you can," he said "One day, too soon, you will learn that, for us, there are no choices in life. There are only duties that wrap you in chains stronger than any iron."
It took Ciara almost thirty years to understand what her father meant. For a time she thought that she'd escaped, and her life was her own. Only now, as she prepares to take her throne for the first time, she can see that he was absolutely right.