GENRE: YA Fantasy
I gripped my staff and waited for the attack to come. The grass under my feet was still slick from the season’s first frost. My breath came out in puffs that drifted off toward gray, low-hanging clouds. The sun had barely crested the horizon, signaling the start of another day. For those of us who survived the night, there was always a certain joy in seeing the sun float into the sky.
And today was going to be one of the most important of my life.
“Begin,” a voice called. It sounded far away, as though it was coming from the enchanted forest instead of from across the practice field.
I raised my staff to fend off the blow, but I was a second too slow. My muscles had tightened after standing around in the morning cold. The blade skimmed off the metal cuff wrapped around the end of my staff before biting into the wood, cutting out a chunk, and forcing me to stumble backward to stay on my feet.
“You’ll have to do better than that if you want to beat me, Goldilocks,” Rhys said. He readied his sword for another blow, displaying hints of the dark green and black uniform of the Night Watch under his protective leather vest. A thin cord bound his hair at the nape of his neck. His otherwise handsome face was marred by his crooked nose. It’d been broken during a training session a year ago. Despite the injury, he’d gone on to win the fight.