ii) The words have an almost physical effect

The words have an almost physical effect upon the air and the water around them. It’s as though the very wood of the boat itself trembles and hums. As Abia continues her song, Cang and Shyan add their voices to it. They don’t know her language, but continue in their own instead.

“Old Ajralan, may you have your fill,” they sing.

Fassn, flat on the floor of the boat, his beard glistening with river water, stirs.

“We’re doing it,” Shyan whispers.

“I believe I nudged him with my foot,” Cang whispers back.

“You’ve got to believe in magic for it to work.”

Cang rolls his eyes but keeps singing.

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