Part I: Talia
If I hear one more syllable about spindles, I shall surely die!
From my earliest memory, the subject has been worn to death in the castle, nay, in the entire kingdom. It is said that “spindle,” rather than “Mama” or “Papa,” was my first word in infancy, and I have little doubt that this is true, for ‘tis the word which lights more frequently than any other upon my most unwilling ears.
“Talia, dearest, you must never touch a spindle,” Mother would say as she tucked me into bed at night.