TITLE: THE CAERWOOD CIRCLE
GENRE: YA - Fantasy
Needing directions to the king’s house was a new problem for the courier. Palaces and mansions were generally easy to spot. Even a fortress was conspicuous, though sometimes out of the way. He turned onto the rough dirt track, which wound high over the quay onto the clifftop. A single lit window showed a house built against the sheer rock face.
Windswept scrub trees lined the pebbly road, their tortured limbs pointing the way upward as the rain gave up and the moon lit the foam on the beaches below. The house shrank as the horseman approached. It was smaller than the other village houses.
Feeling foolish, and wondering if the villagers had tricked him out of directions and drinks, the courier knocked. He heard voices, then a woman, half-smiling, opened the door, stopping when she saw his clothes. He cleared his throat, removed his hat, and took in the fire-lit room. The ham, pots, and bunches of herbs hanging from the ceiling. The fishing-net spread on the floor. A bearded man looked up from where he sat on the rug, mending one part of the net. A girl of fifteen sat cross-legged next to him, helping.
The courier’s embarrassment rose. “I come bearing a message for King Camberden of Ebbo, concerning his daughter Princess Synne.” Silence met this announcement. “Do you good people know where I might find him?”
The man rose, wiped his hands on his trousers, and held out his hand, “Actually, it’s just Cam.”