Silent Kingdom Book 1
by Rachel L. Schade
Genre: YA Fantasy
Some fates can't be escaped
Chosen by truth. Marked for death. Halia must choose to save her kingdom, or let it fall.
Misroth's king has died, and the entire kingdom is in mourning--or so it seems. After her father is crowned regent in his brother's stead, Princess Halia discovers a terrible truth that could end her life. But when she flees to live in hiding, she discovers that the Royal Guard are not all she has to fear. Dark creatures stalk her, reports of oppression and war reach her ears, and her burden to protect her kingdom--at any cost--will not be silenced.
Lovers of fantasy adventures such as Throne of Glass, An Ember in the Ashes, and The Remnant Chronicles won't want to miss this exciting new series. Filled with heart-pounding action and thrilling courage, supernatural powers and nightmarish monsters, readers have trouble putting this book down. Start your adventure today!
I was thirteen when the truth first revealed itself to me.
It happened on a day usually set aside for celebration in Misroth, now weighed down by the loss of our king. The air felt heavy and still under the grey afternoon sky as I walked amidst the coronation procession. All around me, councilmen strode silently, their cloaks swirling about their legs, their boots thudding a steady rhythm along the cobblestone streets of the capital. Arrayed in elaborate scarlet and blue, the King’s Guard formed a protective barrier around the procession’s outer edges, as if they could save my family from the pain that had already taken residence in our hearts. Even in the dim light, the guards’ steel armor glinted. I watched them in awe, for I had never seen them in anything other than their everyday chainmail and leather breastplates, and they looked ready for battle.
Before me, my mother and father walked with their heads held high. Mother’s long, dark hair was plaited delicately and her emerald green dress was so long it trailed along the street behind her. Father kept his grey eyes focused on the crowds around us, nodding to citizens as we passed. He had warned our family that we should not let this dark time steal our dignity, and reminded us that tears were for the weak.
To my shame, my vision blurred with tears anyway. Perhaps I’ll always disappoint Father. I blinked them away hastily and turned to my cousin Gillen, who trudged beside me. His golden, shoulder-length hair tousled in the wind and fell into his face when he hung his head. I knew he was trying to hide his eyes, which were usually bright, but today were swollen and red.
I reached out and gave his arm a reassuring squeeze, wishing I could lend the last shreds of my strength to him.
“Thank you, Lia,” he muttered for only me to hear. “This is not a day I feel strong.”
But he had to be. One day he would be our new king. I opened my mouth to murmur something comforting, but choked on my words. He is healed now. We will see him again. What nonsense. The words were all hollow and brittle, crumbling as soon as I thought them. Gillen didn’t want to hear them, and neither did I. Frowning at my feet, I clamped my mouth shut.
Drawing a deep breath, I dared to raise my gaze to study the rows of citizens lining the streets. Their faces were solemn and their eyes seemed to reflect my own fears: fear of change, fear of the pain and death we had witnessed. This was no joyous coronation procession, not when it followed a funeral. We had left grieving citizens and my weeping aunt at her husband’s graveside to wind our way through the wide streets of Misroth City, past the towering stone buildings and houses. There were no cheers or fists raised to hearts in salute; no ribbons were waved, and no songs were sung. Throughout the city, a heavy silence hung in the air.
We halted in the main square, surrounded by shops closed for business today, and stood, hushed, as my father approached the waiting priest, who stood in the center of the square before a marble statue of King Eldon. Beside the priest, a solitary Royal Guard stood bearing Misroth’s banner, adorned with the stars of the dragon constellation, Vehgar. Father’s velvet robes, midnight blue and trimmed in silver, trailed along the cobblestone behind him. Dressed all in red, the royal priest stood tall and solemn, his dark face masked by the large hood he wore. His cloak billowed about him, but he was motionless.
“Today is a day of many emotions,” the priest announced. In the stillness, his voice was startlingly loud, echoing off the buildings around us. “We grieve the passing of our beloved King Reylon. Together, we mourn the loss his family all feel. But we have hope and comfort in this dark time. We know the Giver of Life has carried our king to another, better place, and King Reylon’s brave brother, Zarev, stands before us willing to accept the throne until King Reylon’s son Gillen is of age. Misroth will not be leaderless.”
Lifting his arms, the priest began to sing an ancient blessing over my father. The words were in Alrenian, a language no longer understood in our kingdom, but the meanings of the old songs were still remembered, passed down from generation to generation. This was a traditional coronation blessing, asking the Giver of Strength to equip my father for the task before him.
“O bren valt hali,
O bren valt mis.
Mari, O emba l’val.
Thero, yagen sem forith.
Thero, yagen sem mis.
Thero, val re rynnet…”
All around me, heads bowed in reverence. It seemed as if others felt comforted by the priest’s words, but I felt numb. I didn’t want to be the daughter of a king, even a king regent. I didn’t want to return to a home bereft of my uncle’s kindly smile or his exciting stories shared with Gillen and me by the fireside.
My red armband of mourning, fastened over my forearm, was constricting, and I wanted to rip it off. Why would the Life-Giver bring us death?
I was startled out of my reverie by my father’s voice, repeating a pledge before the Misrothian people and the Giver as he accepted kingship. The priest’s and my father’s voices trailed on, alternating as the priest spoke and my father recited the words.
“I vow to protect my kingdom with my own blood, to dedicate my service to the Giver of Life and to Misroth…”
“My father was supposed to live a long life,” Gillen whispered, his countenance still a picture of shock. “Not leave me to rule as soon as I am eighteen. That’s four years from now,” he choked out.
Grasping Gillen’s cold hand in mine, I bowed my head, knowing nothing I said would help my cousin.
“…and, if circumstances demand it, to give my own life for Misroth.”
My father rose, the king’s silver crown contrasting with his long dark hair as he faced the crowd. His voice was steady and confident. “…and, if circumstances demand it, to give my own life for Misroth.”
As the priest called my mother forth to declare her own pledge as queen, I wished for something to say, anything to ease Gillen’s pain.
If only I’d known how dangerous words can be.
Silent Kingdom Book 2
An empty throne. A ruined kingdom. Is she their deliverance or their downfall?
Halia's fight for her kingdom is only beginning. With Misroth's rightful king in danger, Halia is forced to trust her enemy and embark on a dangerous journey into Toryn to find her cousin. But Toryn is in ruins, its people plagued by terrors and fighting for survival. As death stalks them all, Halia must face the darkness in her past and her deepest fears, until at last she is faced with one terrible question: How much is she willing to lose?
Lovers of fantasy adventures such as Throne of Glass, An Ember in the Ashes, and The Remnant Chronicles won't want to miss this exciting new series. Filled with heart-pounding action and thrilling courage, supernatural powers and nightmarish monsters, readers have trouble putting this book down.
Rachel L. Schade was born on the first day of summer in a small town in Michigan, only to end up in another small town in Ohio. She attended The Ohio State University to learn how to write obnoxiously long papers, cite people who use big words, and discuss her passion: books. She has a great love for the color blue, sunshine, chocolate, and not folding her laundry. Currently she lives with her husband and surrounds herself with coffee and books on a regular basis.
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