Thursday, February 13, 2014

Blind Speed Dating #41 (A)

Word Count: 122,000


As the last living descendants of the ancient War God, Kindra Odion inherited his skill with weapons, and her sister inherited his wings. After their father's suspicious death eight summers ago, Kindra trained to become her tribe’s first woman warrior, and her sister to become a priestess. Although Kindra completes the whipping ceremony to make a blood-bond with the tribe, the War God fails to send the chief a vision of her warrior name. A warrior with a weak name—or no name at all—isn’t a true warrior in the eyes of the tribe. Kindra’s determined to earn her name in battle, but her plans change when the enemy Obsidian tribe claims her sister as restitution for the last war. To Kindra’s horror, the new chief, Oak, allows them to take her sister.

When Kindra tries to follow, she's beaten unconscious at Oak's command. As she recovers, rumors resurface claiming it was Oak who murdered her father and sold her sister to the enemy. That it was Oak—not the War God—who refused to grant her a warrior name. Kindra didn’t believe the rumors in the past, but she begins to doubt the chief.

When the Obsidian chief provides evidence that the rumors are true, it threatens to fracture her tribe and place it in his control. As the last Odion warrior, Kindra’s the only one who can depose Oak and save her tribe, but it will mean giving up the quest to rescue her sister, and the hope of ever becoming a named warrior.

First 250:

Beads of sweat trickled down Kindra Odion’s spine as she sat in the vision tent. The fire had burned to coals. The long white dress of the High Priestess swished softly as she made her rounds, whispering prayers as she walked with measured steps between the warrior inductees, blessing their foreheads with oil-soaked fingers. Kindra’s twin sister, Kaye, followed with a clay pitcher of vision wine.

The High Priestess dipped her fingers in the bowl, placed them on Kindra’s forehead, and whispered her blessing. “May Eoin recognize your spirit and welcome it as His own. May He bless you with courage in battle, strength to defeat your enemies, and wisdom to know when the fight is finished.”

Kindra bowed her head and the woman moved on. Kaye stepped into her place and handed Kindra the pitcher. “May Eoin bless you with a vision of victory,” she said with a small smile. The words were the same she said to all of the inductees, but the smile was for her alone.

Kindra returned the smile and tipped the pitcher back, swallowing the bitter wine. It ignited a fire in her stomach—the fire of Eoin’s spirit—and her arms and legs began to tingle.

Kaye moved on and Kindra stared at the coals, waiting for the wine’s full effect. Outside, the new moon symbolized the death of their childhood. Tomorrow they would be whipped to prove their strength and mark them as Eoin’s chosen protectors. Warriors. Kindra would be the first woman chosen in the tribe’s existence.

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