TITLE: The Seven Laws
GENRE: YA High Fantasy
Seventeen-year-old Roiden practices elemental magic in secret experiments, to preserve the only connection he has left to his parents, and where he was born. When he tries to save his friend, his use of elemental magic is discovered—and attributed to her. Now he must either confess, or find a different way to secure her freedom, and the cost of failure is death.
Prologue - Nine years ago
Roiden watched from his place at the dormer window, as the dark closed tighter around the grand bedroom and the heat became suffocating.
He thought he might’ve been forgotten, in the window seat. No one glanced his way when they went in or out, though they passed close by, and the light from the fireplace didn’t quite reach him there. It seemed to glow stronger, in the air right before him, but he didn’t move out into it. It would’ve felt better than sitting in the dark, but he wasn’t allowed to. It was wrong, to notice it anymore.
Two servants had just gone out, leaving the bedroom more still than before. They’d each carried their own burden wrapped in cloth, one bigger than the other and trailing withered leaves, and the other small and heavier, tied before Roiden had seen what it was. The servant holding the smaller one had carried it at a distance, as though he could hardly bear to touch it. Roiden thought it might’ve been cold.
He pulled himself tighter against the curtained window, wishing he could disappear, or that he could’ve gone out with the servants without being seen. He didn’t think he was supposed to be here. Aerael’s mother was asleep in the bed, but Aerael, the little girl almost his age, stood by the nightstand, and the old healer woman sat beside her. Aerael was crying.
The old healer woman took one of her hands gently, and Roiden suddenly felt he should be crying, too, without knowing why.