TITLE: Spirit Weaver
When the man she loves unexpectedly disappears, Lora abandons her high post in the army and sets off alone into enemy territory to search for him. This choice turns her king against her and inspires an oppressed people who become convinced she is destined to save them from tyranny. Captive to a prophecy she doesn’t believe, she must accept leadership or risk the life of the man she gambled everything to save.
First 250 words:
Lora thrust her ski poles into the knee-deep snow, raising a mittened hand to shade her face from the glare of the sun. She stared past the wolverine ruff of her parka hood, down the slopes to the evergreen forests rolling out like a legion of the king’s Honor Guard.
Now that she was here, the fear turned her gut into clenching coils—like a snake consuming itself. The snake twisted at the thought of what she might find in the valley below, twisting tighter at what she almost certainly would not find.
Yet she had to know what had become of Gaern. He was the only man—the only person, even—to have somehow found a way through her inner-most defenses.
She searched for the smoke-haze of Eloedir rising up through the crowns of the distant conifers, though she knew all signs of her village would be hidden beyond the valley’s bend. Her own frozen breath was the only sign of life now, drifting back past the unstrung shaft of her wooden bow protruding above her right shoulder. Over the other shoulder gleamed the mottled bronze hilt of a curved saber engraved with the swan of the king.
Lora adjusted her pack, stamping her feet in their bindings to warm her toes. She pushed forward down the slope, finally letting her eyes settle on the place below where five years ago her father and brother had been slain.