GENRE: Young adult speculative
Bastard children of Stiverian nobility are unwittingly punished for their fathers' crimes-of-passion by being forced to perform high wire acts five hundred feet above the circus floor.
Without a net.
Legion is an 'Acrobaste', naive to the origins of his station until one day when he uncovers the sordid truth. But, the Acrobaste Ringmasters have a far wider reach than Legion ever bargained for. Ultimately, he must decide whether to expose the underbelly of the Stiverian upper class and help the circus fall; an act which would free his fellow Acrobastes but could also plunge his country into civil war.
The girl placed one arched foot ahead of the other along the taut wire, five hundred feet above the circus floor.
Her brother, Legion, watched from the ring below. He pulled at tethers, one held in each hand, adjusting and readjusting the high wire as his sister, Chance, took each step. A fine mist collected inside the glass of his bigoggles from the effort and strain of keeping his sister's high wire path steady. But even with his clouded sightlines, he could still make out the tension in her legs, the gracefulness of her outstretched hands, the mixture of concentration and terror in her face.
The audience shifted and groaned with each of Chance's movements, yearning for the thrill which came with each fall. They filled the stands with whistles and jeers in the massive, towering circus tent, row upon row of rabid nobility, roaring at each misstep.
Excitement pulsed through the tent like the beat of a drum and with it came a snappish tone in the crowd's manner as they strained to listen and shoved to see. Tonight, the Wagery had posted the highest stakes since the spring before and while its floor was littered with stubs of paper from the earlier cockfight, that was only a mere distraction. The Wire was the thing to see.
A gentleman could go home quite rich tonight, should luck be in his favour.