Middlefest is a fair with five hundred - or more - people attending at any one time in Jah Keved that is held during Midpeace.[1]

There, Shallan's father is patronized by someone of his own rank, and she slips away at an implicit dismissal. She then sets off on the business of helping her family in the ways she can. When she returns to her father, she finds him speaking with a stranger, who reacts oddly to her presence.[1]

" ... Tell me, young one. Do spren speak to you?"

The lights going out, life drained from them.

Twisted symbols the eye should not see.

Her mother’s soul in a box.

"I . . ." she said. "No. Why would a spren speak to me?"

"No voices?" the man said, leaning forward. "Do spheres go dark when you are near?"

"I’m sorry," Shallan said, "but I should be getting back to my father. He will be missing me."[1]


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