Just thought I’d point out this recent post at Mary Robinette Kowell’s blog: My Favorite Bit: Sharon Shinn Talks About THE SHUDDERING CITY
Brandon has recently arrived at the mansion where Villette is being kept under house arrest. He has been warned that Villette will try to win him over so that he’ll help her escape, so he knows he should be wary as she asks him questions about his family, his affections, and his dreams. But he can’t help himself. Her mix of light charm and deep wistfulness fills him with a desire to protect her, comfort her, and distract her. So one night as they happen to be alone in the walled garden of Villette’s compound, he tells her stories about his island life. Eventually, he pulls out his amulet that shows Zessaya in one of her twelve formal poses. Villette takes the amulet from his hand, studies it by moonlight—and swallows it.
I was nearly as surprised as Brandon.