This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
The doorbell rang once and woke her, and made her gasp. It was quiet, so utterly quiet. Behind the shadowy curtains large flakes of snow invaded the dark sky that reached across the plains and fell behind the Rocky Mountains—one with the night, one with the silence. She sat up and reached for her glasses on the small wooden tabletop at her side. Who is it that rings?
She stepped warily out of bed. The floor was cold under her bare feet. The kitchen door stood partially open, a warm glow seeping into the dim hallway from within. The domestic stepped from the light and walked towards her, attentive and alert.
“Miss?” it said.
“What time is it, Alon?” she asked.
The domestic looked pale in the obscurity. “It’s 3:42 AM. Should I answer the door, Miss?”
She looked towards the front door. Whoever stood behind it had not rung twice, and there was a deep silence inside the house. “Who is out there?”
“It’s a child, miss.”
“A child? What on Earth—” She stared once more at the door, vaguely distinguishable in the darkness against the furthermost wall, and then back at her domestic. “A child? At this hour?”
“Do you wish me to answer the door?”
“Turn on the lights,” she said, “I will get the door.” As she walked, she tucked her hands in her elbows and pressed her crossed arms against her nightgown. The chilly air, hanging motionless around her, made her shiver. She grabbed a silk shawl from the wooden coat rack below the staircase and wrapped it around her neck. The domestic followed her. She opened the door without a word.
Standing pale and quiet, his feet buried in the thin snow that rested on the doorstep, was a boy. He seemed no more than ten years old. He stared up at her patiently. His placid blue eyes seemed to glisten in the warm light that fell onto the elusive features of his face from behind the open door.
The boy said something in another language, and she did not understand. His voice was small and frail, yet composed.
The woman stared at the shadowy figure bundled in layers of snow-covered clothing, the whitish forehead and auburn curls tucked under a large fur hat. The child wore black aviator trousers and a well-tailored merino duffle coat.
She stood in the light of the entrance and her lips were parted slightly as though she were about to speak, but whatever words she wanted to say she could not find, and for a while she said nothing. The child’s eyes did not wonder from hers, even when briefly she turned her gaze towards the solidary night and the waves of snow that twirled in the silence.
He waited patiently. He held something in his hands—a small black cricket—cupped in both palms like a treasure. It did not move. It did not chirp. Maybe the cold had killed it, and maybe the boy had not realized.
“Domina, may I have a horse?” he said, with the same pale voice as light as an echo, an echo that the night had lifted with snowy arms and carried to her ears.
“Please, domina, will you give me a horse?”
JWalker: I loved this story from start to finish! It flows at a really nice pace and the story world feels so real. The fight sequences are a treat especially when Isanfyre is training to become a warrior. I found the names really cool and thankfully easy to pronounce. Personally I have always struggled w...
John Reed: Seadrias masterfully captures the impressiveness and complex scope that a science fiction novel should provide while carefully crafting an entire universe that will leave a reader in awe from start to finish. The only flaw I could find is that I wish I could have read more. This book is certainly...
Prasino45: Hi! I happen to see your updated chapter on FF.NET!It happened to be about you coming onto Inkitt with this story! I've been a fan for a while! I'm a scqualphie writer myself. I ship them HARD! Love this story! I'm gonna do a reread as you said you changed some things! Glad we both made the switc...
ram123: Beautifully written novel, engrossing from start to finish. Great story, clever and imaginative adventure of two young sisters in Victorian England. Story moved at a quick pace .Looking forward to the second book. Congratulations to the author I predict that this will be a very successful series.
: This is a very interesting book - mostly because the heroine is quite charming and well rounded, and has very real issues to manage in her life. Most of all,. I loved the view inside of the life of a South Asian girl/woman, the emotional self-talk, the customs and preferences, the expectations a...
PaulSenkel: If you like Arthur C. Clarke's Odyssey, especially The Final Odyssey, then you will probably also enjoy this book. I definitely did.It does, however, address a more adolescent public than the above-mentioned book.I enjoyed the story and finished it in a few days. The overall situation on earth an...
Nymeria: Really can't get enough of this story. It flows well, it captivates the reader from page 1, and throws you into such a well-written, well conceptualized world that you'll believe it's real. Everything in the book is meshed together really well. From character backgrounds to plot twists, you can t...
Roger A. Fauble: Excellent read, the only thing not to like is that I could only read it at home on my computer. I'm a character reader, I get into the characters, their story, who/what they are. In this story characters are introduced and developed allowing you to really get into them. Next the story is develop...
Leah Brown: This was an amazing read! I was hooked from the very first chapter, holding my breadth to see what would happen next. The characters are rich and vibrant, and the world Danielle has created is fascinating. If you love YA, you MUST read this book. Such a smart, brilliant debut novel. I loved it!
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."