Thursday, November 2, 2023

Starlight Bender

 Imani Stone has a secret—she possesses an ancestral power to bend starlight.

Having grown up in the lush, magical hills surrounding the ancient city of Lumenor, she is no stranger to star-gazing, potion-making, or tarot-reading. However, in the time of civil war in her city, Imani must hide her power to avoid being recruited by the queen’s legions or killed by the ruthless rebels. But everything changes once the city learns of an incoming army of warriors threatening to destroy Lumenor and steal their starlight crystal. Imani is met with a choice—remain in hiding and help her family or risk everything and join the queen’s legions.

But does she have what it takes to be a legionnaire?

Can she help save Lumenor, or will she be the cause of its demise?

read an excerpt...

Lazzor pointed a finger up. “Don’t you worry about this Kalon fella. I will be the one to take him.” He motioned a fist punch, pretending to hit the mysterious Akani leader, then went on to assume Kalon’s role, falling to the ground.

If it only were that easy.

“Oh, Lazzor,” Shei sighed. “Do you even take yourself seriously?”

He went on to chase her around the courtyard, pretending to be the magic blade bearer himself. She continued to tease him, ducking his fists and returning jabs.

“You may be equipped with muscles, but you’ll never have the advantage of sharp wits!” Shei panted, avoiding another hit by an inch.

Lazzor corrected the low formation of her fists, then he continued to simulate punches. “I am yet to be knocked over by wits alone!”

“First time for everything,” she insisted and ran away.

Their chase quickly became a background noise for the ringing in my head. I couldn't shake my angst like the two of them. Three months would never be enough for me to catch up with all the things I’d missed. I thought I would be furious with Mother, wanting to shout “I told you so” from my lungs. Instead, I was worried.

“Wishing you could go back to selling ointments in the Mounds without a worry in your head?” Tain asked. The muscles of his face were pulled back, lips pinned tightly, and sweat beaded along his brows.

“Never,” I replied, forcing my mouth into a smile. “But I wouldn’t mind having more time to prepare for what is coming.”

Tain’s hand jerked towards me, but he held back at the very last second. “You can cry over the spilled potion, or you can work with what you have. Three months isn't nearly enough, but it is all you’ve got. All we’ve got.”

“Alright then, Commander Tain.” I bowed deeply. His face lit up to my words despite trying to remain composed. “Teach me how to fight.”


about Sofia Nedic...

Sofia Nedic is a Slavic immigrant living in Austin, Texas with her husband and pup. She is a tech and fantasy nerd, and an avid enjoyer of ancient history, spirituality, and alchemy. When she is not working or crafting stories, she is exploring nature, reading books, visualizing her daydreams through AI art, or immersing herself in tarot and astrology.

Sofia visualizes the scenes and characters from her stories with AI art on her Instagram @starlight_bender.


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