TITLE: THE PENDRAGON'S SON
GENRE: YA Fantasy
As I hurried down the castle’s vast stone corridor to meet my half-brother for the first time, his name echoed around me, uttered like a curse: Mordred.
The vaulted doorway of the Great Hall loomed ahead, hewn from stone older than the ages. Squaring my shoulders and forcing my spine straight as a sword, I marched toward the raised dais, careful to keep my pace steady—calm and collected as a Prince of Camelot should be. At least I hoped I looked that way. My muscles strained as my legs urged me forward. Every step was too fast, yet the dais still seemed far away.
Armored knights and soldiers filled either side of the high-ceilinged hall. I passed them and focused straight ahead on the three thrones, though as hard as I tried, I could not block out the poisonous words infusing the room, burning my ears.
“How is that bastard Mordred still alive?” A knight to my right sneered.
“Vermin never did die easy,” another said.
I bit my tongue, not for the first time that day. Such disrespect, all because of an unfounded—and unreliable—prophecy made decades ago.
My heels clipped against the stones. No point in arguing with them. They wouldn’t heed me, prince or not. In terms of garnering respect, Mordred and I stood on almost equal ground. Though I was King Arthur’s legitimate son, my rank did not erase the years he spent avoiding me.
Or the lies the queen had spread about me.