TITLE: Chasing Skyfire
GENRE: YA Historical Fantasy
Insects flitted among the dust motes in the soft glow of the lantern, dancing drunkenly with every rush of wind from the erratic sword swings in the narrow stables.
Isa preferred the company of the horses to what the Longhouse had to offer on a feast night. Horses were easier to please—a handful of oats bought their affection.
The air in the stables was warm and musty. Safe. Not like the prickly smells of roasting meat and spiced ale filling the Longhouse.
Taking a step back, she glared at her cedar opponent and adjusted her grip on her sword. Scrunching up her nose, she mocked the weary, faceless dummy with her mother's words: “Have you listened to nothing the swordmaster has taught you? Are you heir to this clan—or aren't you?”
At the last, Isa swung hard at the practice dummy. The impact of her strike rattled up her arms and the blade stuck fast in the scarred wood. The pommel gems shone black in the lantern light. Muttering furious oaths under her breath, she tugged at her sword but it didn't give an inch.
If she left it there, she'd get lectured again on how proper Nords, especially daughters of jarls, were supposed to behave. Proper Nords did not leave their mark of status sticking out of a dummy in the stables.
Proper Nords did as they were told. Proper Nords would be honored to represent their clan at the annual ass-kissing festival in the Oslo court.