by Sarah Daltry
Publication date: November 7th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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.
My parents are sitting by the fire; Sanara is with them. People eat in silence. The joy felt by gathering here was quickly overshadowed by the awareness of how much smaller the group is than when we set out. I sit beside Sanara. She hands me a plate of greens without speaking.
“Have you taken a tally?” Ereditus asks Lormander. “We must know who is missing.”
Lormander looks to Sanara; she won’t meet his eyes. He starts to gather names and stories spill from the lips of the Kooramen.
“My mother was running, but they shot her before she could make it out of the alley.”
“They cut off my brother’s hands in front of me and told me to keep my mouth shut, unless I wanted to end up the same way.”
“Blood. There was so much blood.”
“Where is my child? Please, find my child.”
I try to focus on the fire. The crackling wood shoots out sparks, small fires that land on the rocks edging the flame pit. The smoke swirls around the cauldron; I see bodies through the haze.
“Is it as bad as they’re saying?” Sanara asks.
“It’s bad. Just... bad.” I can’t describe what I saw, not because I don’t have the words, but because I don’t want to fill Sanara’s life with those images. “How long have you been here?” I ask.
“After Galatia sent out the siren spell, it was chaos. You were there. You know how insane it got.” She looks at her feet. “Lormander told me to get out and then he left. It was all too real too fast.”
“Who led you here?” I ask. I know what happened in Kooram after the attack started. I heard the call to retreat to the caves, but I was there through the first wave. Sanara may have been fortunate enough to get out before she saw too much.
“After the call, we just started moving. I was alone, running through the fields. The moon was high, so I was lucky, I suppose.” She pauses. “I made the wards. They won’t last another night.”
“You can rest, gather strength to repair them. Until then, I am sure another mage...”
Sanara looks directly into my eyes and shakes her head. “No. They won’t. There are no other mages. He killed them all.”
I take in what Sanara says. Her training is not enough to replace all of our mages.
Sarah Daltry is a varied author, known best for the contemporary New Adult series, 'Flowering', a six-title series that explores the complexities of relationships, including how we survive the damage from our pasts with the support of those who love us. Although the books are no longer in print, they are being rewritten and redeveloped for future publication. Please visit Sarah's website for more details.
As a former English teacher and YA library coordinator, Sarah has always loved Young Adult literature and 'Dust', an epic fantasy novel where romance blends with the blood and grit of war, is her second official foray into YA, following the gamer geek romantic comedy, 'Backward Compatible'. Most of Sarah's work is about teens and college students, as it's what she knows well.
Sarah's passion in life is writing - weaving tales of magic and beauty. The modern and vast social networking world is an alternative universe that she makes infrequent trips to, but when she does, readers will find her attentive, friendly and happy to discuss the magic of stories and reading. Please stop by and say hello anywhere Sarah is online! You can find these places at http://sarahdaltry.com
Sarah has moved back and forth between independent and traditional publishing. Her first novel, 'Bitter Fruits', is with Escape, an imprint of Harlequin Australia, and she signed with Little Bird Publishing in the spring of 2014.
Sarah has also written 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,' a reimagining of one of her favorite poems in a contemporary setting.
She is an obsessive Anglophile who spends more time watching BBC TV than any human being should, as well as a hardcore gamer and sarcastic nerd.
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