Author: Sarah Daltry
Publisher: Little Bird Publishing House
ISBN: In Process
Publication Date: November 7, 2014
Amazon Paperback Link
File Size: 2770 KB
Print Length: 224 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Little Bird Publishing House (LBPH) (November 6, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Amazon Kindle Link
About the book:
Who makes YOUR choices?
"I was once the type of person who was impressed by starlight; the type of person who would dance beneath glass ceilings and let the world swim in its loveliness. The sky reminds me of the parties we used to throw - parties like the one last night. The memories bring back the trill of harps and endless ripples of satisfied laughter. Now, though, when I try to recall what I felt, all I hear is screaming."
In a world ravaged by war and oppressive forces of evil, a princess must fight to claim her bloodright and save her people.
When the princess, Alondra, falls for the beautiful, blue eyes of a hooded stranger, it awakens in her a taste for freedom and an escape from her duty.
But her parents have other plans; they have a kingdom to protect and Alondra must marry to ensure the peace between nations. Only what happens when your parents choose a cold-hearted assassin as your betrothed?
As lies, illusions, and long hidden vendettas surface, the princess has to confront a very secret history. One that makes her realize that she not only risks losing her liberty, but also everything she has known and loved.
PART ONE (Dust)
Overhead, the sky is sparkling. The hills crest right below the moon and the tableau, in other circumstances, would be breathtaking. However, as I wade through corpses, I’m not focused on scenery. My quiver is by my side and I’m plucking arrows from the dead. This is not a time for waste.
I was once the type of person who was impressed by starlight; the type of person who would dance beneath glass ceilings and let the world swim in its loveliness. The sky reminds me of the parties we used to throw – parties like the one last night (or another party, not that long ago, but one that belongs in another lifetime.) The memories bring back the trill of harps and endless ripples of satisfied laughter. Now, though, when I try to recall what I felt, all I hear is screaming.
The troops are gathered, ready for my command. It is senseless. I have no military experience; no concept of how to lead. They come with their bows, and swords, and guns and they look to me for direction. My father’s last words before we watched our city fall were to assign me as his envoy. Because it is their duty to obey, the soldiers heeded his decision, even though it was clear they did not agree with it. They followed blindly, and now I stand holding the remnants of a man’s life in my quiver, having never spilled blood myself.
Over the hills, we’re not sure what awaits us but it is likely no different than the field of gore through which we trek. I look to the sky again and feel I can hear the moon laughing. Red stains the entire landscape. Where there were trees now stand charred remains and plumes of smoke. Bones are scattered across the earth, buzzards circle, and the smell of rot and death invades my senses. I want to wash myself, but even a long, hot bath could not erase the ruin that clings to me.
Behind us is only suffering. The kingdom has been shattered. Anara stands on the precipice.
Demoria, we were told, was the first city to fall, although the Demorians were fortunate in that the majority of them were stationed in camps around the other kingdoms. Syllab was ashes before the news even reached us in Kooram. While we danced and thrilled ourselves with frivolity, the world’s teleportation centers were demolished, cities were razed, and death marched on us like a silent sentinel.
The air is full of the stench of carnage. I continue to gather arrows as we move, but the bodies at last are thinning. The remnants of war are visible in the atmosphere and the once fertile prairie is now an arid stretch of debris. Sanguine rivers intercept our path.
“Alondra, we must continue to move. Their troops are amassing and it will not be long before they reach us. We must make camp before daybreak and I worry that we are running out of time.”
Ereditus is right; if the sun comes up and illuminates our position, the war will be over. Although the objective is to end the war, it is not to end it with my death. As our military leader and strategist (despite the fact he has never seen anything resembling war before) Ereditus is the only person who knows what the next steps should be.
I nod and continue the path through the remains of my kinsmen and my people. The sun is coming and we must get to the caves. I feel a hand on mine and turn to see Seamus. His sword is dripping crimson. Ragged marks lace his arms and hands. His eyes are dark and his sorrow is palpable.
“Only a bit further,” he says, trying to comfort me.
We have hours to go, but if we can make it to the caves, we can regroup, tally our losses, and strategize. “I, for one, am ready for a nap.”
“It is uncanny that you can joke right now,” I tell him, but he still coaxes a small smile. There is a strange security in the casualness of his comment, and his hand feels warm. I squeeze it, happy to have the familiarity of his touch.
“I aim to please.” His returned smile morphs into a grimace, thanks to the slash that runs across his cheek. It’s funny to think that only a few months ago, I was preparing myself for a date with Seamus, having my hair braided and my eyes lined with shadow, angry about something as petty as betrothal. What is marriage now that the world is dying?
As we walk towards dawn, I clench his hand tighter and try not to think on how we got here.
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About the author:
Sarah Daltry is the author of No Such Thing as Perfect, Dust, Backward Compatible, Bitter Fruits, and The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. As a former English teacher and YA library coordinator, Sarah has always loved books and her passion in life is writing - weaving tales of magic and beauty. She originally wrote romance, but Sarah's real focus is lyrical and introspective fiction that gets to the heart of being whole.
Sarah is an obsessive Anglophile who spends more time watching BBC TV than any human being should, as well as a hardcore gamer, feminist, hermit, and sarcastic nerd. She's extremely introverted and craves quiet and solitude, but she does enjoy hearing from readers. Find her online at http://sarahdaltry.com