Title: KNIGHTS OF RILCH
Genre: Adult/NA Epic Fantasy
Word Count: 83,000
Crown princess Kierstaz Orion is not one to stop and smell the roses. Short, confident, and heir to the throne, she spent most of her twenty-three years training to be as dangerous as any man in armor— just in case. Although Serengard is composed of gifted tradesmen and wealthy farmers, talk of revolution has been circling for decades.
When a large mob of rebels starts a war, kills her parents, and burns her city, the love she has always had for her people turns to a burning desire to set the bloody mess to rights. With a price on their heads and assassins nipping at their heels, Kierstaz pushes her younger brother, Mikel, into leading a handful of knights against the rebel army.
Yet saving Serengard may not be so simple as Kierstaz imagines. As their numbers dwindle, Mikel grows more and more eager to surrender their position to the opposing power of Dreibourge. And although her dead father’s friends profess loyalty, an ambitious rival lurks in the shadows of the man they trust the most. Secrets have always been a staple of the Orion family, and those Kierstaz keeps are as dangerous as those kept from her.
The smack across her face came as a surprise. Kierstaz had been nicked by the point of a blade before, but never struck by a hand.
“Was your journey pleasant, little Orion?”
Kierstaz squinted at the Seren militia man from the darkness of the wooden crate. He caught one of her small hands and yanked hard. She braced, swung herself past him, skinning her palms on the ground. They were in the hardwoods… to the south? She breathed in muggy, sweet air and curled her fingers into the turf. Eleven men languished around her, armed with the weapons of her murdered armor bearer.
Damned militia bastards.
“Up. Into the house.”
Their leader gestured toward a slate dwelling twenty paces away. The iron chain about her ankles tugged as she walked, but it was not very solid. Inside, the windows were covered by tapestries, maintaining a dim reddish glow. Boards had been pulled from the oaken floor and a chair placed in the clay beneath.
“Sit, princess. It makes me dance in sweet revelry to know that you’ll hold no title by the end of the week.”
Kierstaz swallowed, assessing him. The scruff of a few days covered a strong, square chin, and curly brown hair fell in bunches about his ears. A handsome Seren, if ever she saw one. But his arms were thin. He could no sooner wield a broadsword than he could carry away a pier.
She smiled. “Well. Will you be escorting my head to a spike?”