Because I can, here is a snippet from The Idiot King, For Queen And Country book 3. Expected out in late August/early September. Sign up here to be notified when it comes out.
Not much later, the Council of Nobles convened in the boat shed. It was not their usual meeting time, and Fleuris LaFontaine had to be hunted down from some place in town. He came into the boat shed muttering and protesting and sat down at the table with a heavy sigh.
His face was red from the wine he had evidently consumed with his midday meal.
Johanna had thought it wise to let Roald stay at the Lady Sara. He’d been teaching some boys how to catch butterflies without damaging them, and had gotten wet. He had sticks in his hair and smudges on his cheeks and when she called, had looked at her with such disappointment that she couldn’t bring herself to drag him along to a meeting, let alone one where tempers were sure to get heated. He hated it when people raised their voices, because he didn’t understand that they weren’t talking to him. He might start fidgeting, laughing or screaming, and that would be unacceptable.
So she had watched him trundle back into the reeds with his butterfly net, wishing she could be with him. Instead, she had changed into in her best dress, asked Nellie to put up her hair, put on the necklace, brooch and earrings that she had brought from Duke Lothar’s castle–much as she hated wearing other people’s property–and had asked two of her new guard escorts, who really needed uniforms, to walk her to the boat shed. Their names were Ko and Pieter, and they took to their task with a maturity beyond their adolescent years. Johanna took up the position at the head of the table that would normally be Roald’s.
It took her a lot of courage to do that, because Johan Delacoeur gave her a look icy enough to make water freeze. He was a powerful man, ex-army general with connections in armies all around the low lands. In their return to Saardam, he would be an asset, if she could win his support, no matter how reluctantly given. If.