Klane Kalonia and the Great Burning (16) by DMFW ()
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The happily barking dog was the only one to break the silence as Klane caught anxious glances passing between the others. They might be wondering if he even recognised a book. He crouched down to pick one of the smaller volumes from the floor, almost a pamphlet, and from the way he opened it, it was clear he knew exactly what it was.
Then everyone seemed to speak at once.
"It's not what you think.. We know the Vow of Earth."
"They aren't history books. We'd never have history books..."
"You have to understand..."
Klane held up his hand for silence and answered mildly.
"You know that I am an unusual Rider from distant lands. I am more unusual than you think. I've seen plenty of books before... I can read."
Once again there was a staccato moment of shock and surprise.
"Then you must realise that this is not an ideal time for anyone to see them", the blacksmith said at last. "You seem like an understanding sort, but it is forbidden to keep written words, no matter the subject. Certainly we know History cannot be allowed to return! There is no history here. These are craft books. But others would not be so understanding. A Great Burning is not a good place for books or for anyone seen to own them!"
Now Clara spoke up.
"I think we can trust this man. He helped Ethan and he can read. We need to tell him everything..."