NAME: Sara Martin
MENTOR: Lindsay Smith
TITLE: THE PRINCESS OF SWANS
GENRE: YA Fantasy
WORD COUNT: 80,000
Disfigured princess Feyana Belmaron has never held a weapon, kissed a boy, or set foot outside her castle grounds. But to bring peace to her war-torn kingdom, she’ll have to journey deep into hostile territory—facing down pirates, soldiers, monsters, and worse—to find and court a ruthless enemy prince.
Tavor Castle is beautiful—for a prison. The white stone castle is small but well-kept, and its fields and woods cover almost a square mile. Even the looming, twenty-foot walls enclosing the grounds have an odd charm to them. To protect you, Father says, but I know better. It’s to hide me. The only ugly thing in Tavor Castle is its princess.
I jam my foot into Lulari’s stirrup and cluck her to a walk. The warm breeze ruffles my fascinator and fills my nose with the scent of horse. I smile. Outside, there may still be walls, but at least there’s no ceiling. I brush back a lock of hair—and an ashen, black-cloaked woman appears in my path.
I clutch at her mane but grasp nothing. The ground races up to slap me, and pain jars my shoulder and back. A stablehand races toward me, her dark hair flying behind her.
Breathing hard, I stir my arms and legs, then probe my ribs for tenderness. Nothing broken, thank Dal. I sit up and groan.
“I’m fine,” I say. “Is she alright?”
The mysterious woman lies crumpled beneath her cloak, her face unnaturally gray. I crawl toward her, my shoulder throbbing, but the stablehand pulls me back sharply.
“Your Highness, look!”
I follow her pointing finger and stiffen. The black mass I took for a cloak is a vast, black wing. A corbie. I shudder and back away. How can a corbie be here?
January 23, 2013
NAME: Sara Martin