TITLE: THE TRICKSTER'S WAGER
GENRE: YA Historical Fantasy
Today, the horizon was a promise, not a prison.
Isa stood at the bow of her uncle’s ship, her face turned into the wind and spray. For two days the merchant vessel had skimmed through the waves, past mountains and islands carved off from the mainland when gods and giants still waged their wars.
The ship had long left her mother’s lands—of farms and forests and deep, wild mountains—and still there was more to discover. What else was out there? Beyond Helgeland, beyond Nordland... Isa’s wool cloak twisted in her fist. Better not think about it—she'd never have the chance to find out. A jarl’s place was within her borders, save for brief, diplomatic trips like this one.
It took Isa months to convince her mother to send her to the festival in Oslo this year, but being one failure shy of exile made for a strong argument. The Oslo king hosted the largest Winter Nights Festival in the twelve kingdoms, and it was Isa’s last chance to prove herself worthy of being her mother’s heir.
With the twilight of an early evening fading, the crew should have been on the lookout for an inlet to put into for the night, but they sailed on without slowing. Lanterns at the fore and aft of the karve turned the ship into a glowing island passing through the dark. The one above Isa cut stark shadows into the dragon figurehead that marked the ship as part of Uncle Eyvind's fleet.