I think everyone raised on fantasy goes through a stage of writing person-with-magical-powers and weird-eye-colours and magic-keys…this was part of mine. The other part morphed into GreenSky, and luckily got a bit less cliché as it went. I’ve still got some affection for this world, but I think I prefer Toru to Oak!
This was the girl I loved, the girl I would give my soul to if she asked me. I did not know if she loved me or not, and I was too scared to ask. I was afraid that she would turn me down, turn me away. But the reality that I saw in her eyes terrified me. I understood for the first time why she was blind, and what had happened to her. I did not know how it had happened, or why, but I knew what it meant. For her eyes were silver, like my father’s, like the Lady’s – the silver of the balance, of the power. She was one of the keys. And the only power she could be key to was the Circle. The girl I loved was one of the most powerful sorceresses that had ever lived, even though she did not know it – and I doubted that anyone else did. But what I saw in her eyes was the reflection of eternity. And that terrified me.
“I’m a key?” Mari said in terrified incomprehension as Oak finished explaining, his voice dull and lifeless. “But I don’t have any power…how can I be?”
“Mari, stop that.” Sienna told her sharply. “Oak, are you sure?”
“My father’s eyes are that colour, the Lady’s are as well…when my father dies and I take over his duty, my eyes will become silver.” Oak told her dully, but the shock was beginning to fade. “It is the colour of the power. I have never heard of anyone else with silver eyes – there have been no others but those who care for the Towers.”
Ruel had not spoken, and Oak began to guess what lay behind his silence. If he had looked after Mari since she had gone blind, surely he had seen her eyes? Did he know what had caused her blindness? Ruel, realising his line of thought, shook his head.
“I knew your eyes were silver, but didn’t understand what it meant.” he said quietly to them. “But you have to admit that the silver is striking and unusual…it attracted far too much attention and far to many wary glances. They were beginning to think of you as strange, Mari, and with those eyes…that was why I suggested you cover them, and took you away from your home and family.”
Mari nodded, accepting the explanation with an oddly calm air. Had she already known? Oak didn’t know. There was far too much about this strange girl that he didn’t know – there was a lot of mystery about all of them.