The Pattern Scars

In Caitlin Sweet's fantasy novel, a girl with the gift to see the future is sold by her mother to a brothel seer to develop her gift.

Caitlin Sweet

Nola is born into poverty in Sarsenay City. When her mother realizes that Nola has the gift of Othersight and can foretell the future, she sells her to a brothel seer, who teaches the girl to harness her gift. As she grows up, Nola embraces her new life, and even finds a small circle of friends. All too soon, her world is again turned upside down when one of them is murdered. When a handsome young Otherseer from the castle promises to teach her, she eagerly embraces the prospects of luxury beyond what she can imagine and safety from a killer who stalks girls by night. Little does she know that he will soon draw her into a web of murder, treachery, and obsessive desire that will threaten the people and land she holds dear, and that she will soon learn the harshest of lessons: that being able to predict the future has nothing to do with being able to prevent it. (From ChiZine Publications)

From the book

A tale was always told, in the lower city and in the castle (and I know, for I've lived in both places): When Teldaru, who was later seer to King Haldrin, was a boy of five, a powerful and much-hated lord ordered him to fetch a flagon of wine. The boy did the lord's bidding, for he had no choice, being a child, and the son of a tavern keeper, and of no account. The lord was already drunk, but he swallowed most of the wine in a few gulps. He set the flagon down unsteadily and it tottered and fell. "Wretch!" he cried at Teldaru, who was still standing there by the table. "You've brought me a faulty cup. And now look — such a mess — only a seer could make sense of it..." The man narrowed his eyes at the dark spatter upon the wood, then shifted them back to the boy. "Make right your clumsiness," he slurred. "Entertain me. Read my future in this pattern and I will withold the order to have you flogged."

Teldaru stood up on his tiptoes and peered across the tabletop. He frowned. "I see a breaking wave," he declared in his high, clear voice as the others around the table and in the room fell silent, "with you standing beneath it. Your face is still and purple." It is said that the midday sun, which had been spilling into the tavern, dimmed, and an owl hooted, as if it believed night had fallen. Some claimed that stars shone, in the sudden dimness, and that one even fell, to signal a prophecy confirmed.

From The Pattern Scars by Caitlin Sweet ©2011. Published by ChiZine Publications.