So this was it, she thought. So many times she'd wondered. True sacrifice was the surrender of one sacred thing in favor of keeping another. No matter how prudent or cautious one was, in the end something precious was lost. Whether the claim was in the name of family or duty or honor or truth, it exacted a terrible price. To her dismay, she did not feel the pride or pleasure that Bledig had claimed when he spoke of the sacrifices he had made for her and their children. For Alwen, sacrifice brought grief and guilt, and an unbearable sense of uncertainty.