Hawksong (The Kiesha'ra: Volume 1)
Amelia Atwater-RhodesPROLOGUEThey say the first of my kind was a woman named Alasdair, a human raised by hawks.She learned the language of the birds and was gifted with their form.It is a pretty myth, I admit, but few actually believe it. No record remains of her life.No record except for the feathers in every avian's hair, even when otherwise we appearhuman, and the wings I can grow when I choose
and of course the beautiful golden hawk's form that is as natural to me as the legsand arms I wear normally.This myth is one of the stories we hear as children, but it says nothing of reality or thehard lessons we are taught later.Almost before a child of my kind learns to fly, she learns to hate. She learns of war. Shelearns of the race that calls itself the serpiente. She learns that they are untrustworthy,that they are liars and loyal to no one. She learns to fear the garnet eyes of their royalfamily even though she will probably never see them.What she never learns is how the fighting began. No, that has been forgotten. Insteadshe learns that they murdered her family and her loved ones. She learns that theseenemies are evil, that their ways are not hers and that they would kill her if they could.That is all she learns.This is all I have learned.Days and weeks and years, and all I know is bloodshed. I hum the songs my motheronce sang to me and wish for the peace they promise. It's a peace my mother has neverknown, nor her mother before her.How many generations? How many of our soldiers fallen?And why?Meaningless hatred: the hatred of an enemy without a face. No one knows why wefight;they only know that we will continue until we win a war it is too late to win, until wehave avenged too many dead to avenge, until no one can remember peace anymore,even in songs.Days and weeks and years.My brother never returned last night.