TITLE: The Crimson Crown
GENRE: YA Fantasy
When her lord sends Tiandra to the kingdom of Peran to complete a task, she hopes that this will be her chance to prove that she can be useful, despite her deaf ears. But in Peran, Tiandra oversees a conversation and makes a terrible mistake. To save herself and thousands of others, she now has to find a way to appease her lord and stop an invasion, before she’s caught and turned in for the price the king of Peran has set on her head.
At dawn the auction block was full of human merchandise. By noon the adults were gone. Boys who looked like they might be useful on a farm were sold next, followed by girls pretty enough to work for tavern keepers. Slowly our numbers shrank until the sun was low in the sky and I was the only one left.
The block stretched out around me, huge and empty. Beyond it was a world of gray: gray ships, gray water, gray buildings, gray sky. The clouds hung thick and heavy, threatening to add snow to the misery of the day. Beneath them, a bitter wind blew in off the water. My ears were deaf to the sound of it; but I could see the long strands of red hair that the wind threw into my face and feel its icy fingers wrapping around my limbs. I had never felt so cold or so small.
Sailors and merchants hurried through the harbor, seemingly blind to my existence, while a small crowd clustered at the bottom of the auction block to watch the sport. The number of spectators had dwindled as the weather worsened, but there were still prospective buyers. A handful of them stood talking to Soren, the man who had owned me for the past year and a half.