You’d think Isabel would have been jealous of her brother.
He was the firstborn, after all. And since Percival was born first, that meant he would inherit instead of her. He teased her about it for years before finally realising that she honestly didn’t care.
Apart from the teasing, Percy was a good brother and Isabel knew she was lucky to have him.
She still didn’t envy him as they grew older. While he was learning about the responsibilities he would inherit, Isabel was free to be…Isabel. She was headstrong and beautiful, and enjoyed what freedom being the ‘spare’ could bring.
Then he strayed onto Changer territory. It was only for a moment and he never meant to do it, but they took him.
Three months later, Isabel received a letter from Percy that said he wasn’t coming back, that he was going to stay willingly with his abductors. After screaming at the messenger to get out, Isabel sat down and cried.
It was when her tears had dried that she realised what that meant.
She wasn’t the spare any more. She was the heir. She was now going to have to deal with everything that Percy had spent his entire life preparing for.
She’d had no training for it. No preparation.
But she wasn’t jealous of her brother’s new freedom. She had never envied him in her life before and she didn’t intend to start then. Instead, she allowed her fear of the future to crystallise into anger. She hardened her heart against the ones who had taken her brother.
She was determined to be strong and to be the Lady she was needed to be. Nobody was going to take advantage of her and God help them if they tried.
But she was still Isabel and that would never change.