Dark smoke rose from the wick as cheap blackfish oil fed the flame. She wrinkled her nose at the smell, so different from the fine beeswax candles and clean-burning sperm oil lamps she’d grown up with. Yet she turned up the wick, making the flame burn higher. She was being extravagant, burning oil they could not afford to replace. But tonight she needed the comfort of light, something to drive away the melancholy her father’s letter had stirred in her. And perhaps ease the bone-deep sense of dread that had been shadowing her for days.
From outside, a discreet cough sounded over the hiss of blowing sand.
– chapter 2, book 2, Blood Trilogy