by Jacqueline Carey
Read an excerpt:
...Of course the designs are highly abstracted, but a trained eye can pick out the underlying forms, and I soon saw many in Alcuin's. Elegant scrolling at the base suggested a mountain stream, and the slim, supple trunk of a white birch rose upward, a fine pattern of birch-leaves twining about it and crowning it in a delicate spray at the finial. The lines were strong, but the colors subtle, soft greys and charcoals that would echo Alcuin's unusual coloring, with the merest hint of a pale green along the edges of the leaves. What Master Robert Tielhard designed for me was different. Delaunay entered the marquist's shop laughing, bringing with him a breeze of wine and good conversation, but he soon sobered to the task at hand, poring with Master Tielhard over bits of foolscap as sketch after sketch was drafted and refined or discarded. I grew impatient, but he would not let me see until they had a sketch which pleased them both. "What do you think, Phedre?" Delaunay turned to me...