TITLE: BLUE FIRE
GENRE: YA Fantasy
Common-born mages are forbidden. When the peasant Adara accidentally destroys a hut with blue flames, the Dragonmaster agrees to hide her on two conditions: she must pass as a noble, and she must fling enough fireballs at his enemies to make the risk of being caught worth it.
As I got off the hay-cart, I realized a major problem in my plan to hide in a city: I’d never been to a city before.
One street had more life crowded into it than all of Stoneyfield. Horses with carriages and horses with merchant wagons, horses carrying men who looked down their noses. Women in trousers hurrying with purchases, chattering women in skirts of endless orange and blue. Trinket-pushers shouted behind me, bracelets and combs and eggs for—First One above, for an entire copper apiece—and the buildings crowded together with two, three layers of windows. Already the hay-cart was lost in traffic, lost in noise, lost in horse shit and people churning.
I stood gaping at it all like a bewildered cow.
Snap out of it, Adara. The sooner you get used to this, the better. I picked a trousered woman and tried to copy her easy-yet-rushed way of moving. The hay-cart farmer had promised this was a street of cheaper inns. I ambled until I came to a door.
The noise didn’t dim, it just changed. Through an arch across the foyer, people laughed, talked, and cursed. Pipes and a drum tried to be heard over it all. The foyer itself was empty except for a man bent over a book at a counter. Keys dangled from hooks on the wall behind the man, and several uncomfortable-looking chairs lined the opposite wall.
The man glanced up with a smile. It vanished.