A Sting in the Tail
A Sting in the Tail
Book No.
Short Story 2
Publication Date
N/A [1]
N/A [1]
Main Character
Antonio of the Scorpion
Talian Setting
Remora, 1450
Preceded By
Followed By
N/A [1]

A Sting in the Tail is the short story corresponding with City of Stars[2]. The story is about a Stellata Straordinaria run in 1450, a 128 years before City of Stars, put on by the great sculptor Giovanni Ortolano.


In 1450, Antonio, the Horsemaster of the Scorpion, is desperate to win the Stellata Straordinaria held in honour of architect and sculptor Giovanni Ortolano's completion of the main cathedral in Remora - especially because the Scorpion not won a rest for almost a century. To this end, the Scorpion selects Benedetta, a beautiful and intelligent but highly-strung mare, for their mount. Antonio believes luck is in his favour after seeing workmen lay down his Twelfth's section onto the pavement and Ortolano smiling at him, even when he runs into a band of Zinti people, who enchant his orphaned stable boy Ciro.

When Benedetta is startled in a heat and badly injured, the Scorpion is forced to replace her last minute with untrained mount, Matteo, whose chances of winning are slim. Among the Zinti, a man named Indro volunteers himself and his horse, Malassa, to be Antonio's jockey and mount. With nothing to lose, Antonio accepts and Indro wins the race, ending the Scorpion's unlucky streak at last.

As the Scorpion celebrates its win, Antonio thinks about all the omens he saw before the race. Meanwhile, Ciro disappears with the Zinti. While in the years to come, Antonio saw moderate success as a Horsemaster and won two more Stellatae, he never manages to recall jockey and horse who won the Stellata Straordinaria of 1450. However, he never denies the three lucky omens that brought him that victory, particularly the Zinti he met.


  • Antonio - The Horsemaster of the Scorpion in 1450[3]. After many generations, the Scorpion has not won any races, which drives Antonio more than ever to break the losing streak on his Twelfth. [3]
  • Ciro - A stable-boy for the Scorpion in 1450.
  • Stefania - Antonio's wife.
  • Giovanni Ortolano - A great sculptor and architect, who calls for a special Stellata to celebrate the completion of a grand cathedral in Remora.
  • Indro Vivoide - A Manoush who was in Remora in September 1450. He offers to help Antonio in the Horsemaster's most desperate hour.
  • Malassa - A horse of one of the Manoush, Indro Vivoide. He ran in the special Stellata in September of 1450, with Indro as his jockey, for the Scorpion.[3]
  • Benedetta - A horse of the Scorpion, whose name means "the blessed one". A grey mare, pure white and delicate-boned, originally intended to run the Stellata for the Scorpion.[3]
  • Matteo - One of the Scorpion's horses. He ran in the annual Stellata in August 1450, and he came in second (which in Remora is almost worse than coming in last). He was a solid brown gelding.[3]
  • Rincorsa - The mount for the Archer for the special Stellata in September 1450. The horse's name refers to the outermost track of the Stellata.

Notes and ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 A Sting in the Tail is only an online story
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 A Sting in the Tail

The Series
City of Masks · City of Stars · City of Flowers · City of Secrets · City of Ships · City of Swords
Short Stories
A Talian Tale · A Sting in the Tail · An Impossible Task · Sugar Fox · The Fourth Wise Man · Under the Walls