Title: Blood and Honor
Genre: YA Fantasy
Word COunt: 95,000
As heir to the Shadow Realms, sixteen-year-old Bramlyn Shadowborne should excel at lies and have a talent for evil. Bram only has the Gift of Healing, which is pathetic when compared to her twin brother’s three Dark Gifts. Showoff. When she fails to impress at her coronation, tradition dictates she should be killed. Tradition has never been Bram’s thing, so she flees to the only place that will give her sanctuary, the most powerful out of the nine Kingdoms of Light. The King grants her clemency on three conditions: hone her Gift for his use, renounce all ties to her people, and sit on his Council as adviser on the Shadow Realms. Her other option? Death by beheading. Bram is rather attached to her head, so she agrees.
Bram has only started to fit in when messages from home arrive about her brother’s mad plan to massacre his people. Her former country folk beg for her help in overthrowing him, but the King’s wrath hangs over her newly won head. Bram is torn between aiding the rebels or protecting the kingdom that gave her sanctuary. If she chooses to help her country, the Kingdom of Light will declare war. If she chooses to remain in the Kingdom of Light, her twin’s plan for domination will succeed.
A whimper echoed down the windowless corridor. Bramlyn Shadowborne felt the hair on the back of her neck stand on end. She hated this section of the palace and if creepy wails were going to start plaguing this part of the corridor, she definitely was not coming back. Her father looked cross-eyed and fat in all the tapestries lining the hall. It was a fairly accurate representation, Bram was just surprised her father hadn’t decided to behead the Royal Weaver.
Another whimper hit Bram’s ears and she followed the sound to a pair of feet poking out from behind a tapestry. She yanked the heavy fabric aside and almost jumped. It was a little boy no older than four. Bram knelt to the ground, careful not to get too close to him. Normal children did not hide in abandoned corridors.
“What’s wrong, little one?” she asked. He spit into her face.
Bram almost spit back. She settled for biting her check. It was her own stupid fault. She really should’ve seen that one coming, it was the third time this week. If she had heard the speech once, she’d heard it a thousand times.
‘You are sixteen, Bramlyn. It’s time to stop acting like a child and start being the Darklen you were meant to be. That means no crying, no laughing, and absolutely no kindness.’ Gods above, the sound of her mother’s voice in her head was just as annoying as it was in real life.
A tired sigh came from behind her and she counted her lucky stars.