Sunrunner's fire by Melanie Rawn

Chapter One 719: Stronghold The immense emerald caught and concentrated the fire of the setting sun into a fierce glow alive with green-gold light. Sunrunner though High Princess Sioned was, and skilled in the arts of the faradh’im, the other rings that would signify her rank among them were missing from her hands. For many years she had worn only her husband’s ring, the emerald he had given her half their lifetimes ago. But tonight she could feel the rest still on her hands, as she’d told Lady Andrade: like scars. There were others with her in the evening hush who wore faradhi rings. The three circling the fingers of her sister-by-marriage, Princess Tobin, were honorary; nonetheless they betokened considerable if informally trained power. Tobin’s eldest son Maarken and his wife Hollis each wore six rings; Riyan, only son of Sioned’s old friend Ostvel, had four. Had Sioned still worn hers, they would have numbered seven—but she knew quite honestly that her talents and her powers would have merited eighth and ninth rings by now. That she chose not to claim them was i
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