Title: ALMENDRA'S JOURNEY
Genre: YA Fantasy
Word count: 80,000
Fifteen years ago Almendra's magic kingdom - the Upper Kingdom - was attacked by the shawlweavers. Her mother was dethroned and sent into the Halls of Eternity, her people were slaughtered and those who managed to survive fled never to return; its magic was gone. At a great cost the shawlweavers were repelled. Almendra, her granny and her wolf friend and guardian were the only ones who remained behind. In their retreat, the shawlweavers left behind a curse that isolated the Upper Kingdom from the rest of the realm.
Almendra's only chance to restore her kingdom is to fulfill the fate-line that predicts its rebirth once she finds her true love. Her granny believes that the fate-line refers to Prince Frederick of Lowland Kingdom and orders Almendra to sit and wait for him to come and set them free. However, when an unlikely messenger arrives and tells them that there is no curse, that Prince Frederick has been poisoned and that the only thing that can cure him is magic, Almendra doesn't think twice. She journeys through the realm to save the prince, make him fall in love with her and thus fulfill the fate-line.
Equipped with a special healing potion and wrapped in an enchanted shawl with outstanding powers she is yet to discover, Almendra uncovers an underground town deep underneath the shawlweavers' lair with the surviving remnants of her people and learns that her life and that of her kingdom is even in greater danger because the shawlweavers are unstoppable in their desire to wipe it from the face of the realm for good. Almendra must reach Prince Frederick before she is killed and the shawlweavers' long-awaited plan finally succeeds.
The problem is that Almendra begins to suspect that Prince Frederick is not the one she needs to fulfill the fate-line after all. It's too bad that she has no time to figure out who is as she finds herself on the chopping block for murder.
ALMENDRA'S JOURNEY (first 250 words)
Almendra opened her eyes on the seventh chime of the clock. She quickly sat up, stretched and smiled. Just then the door to her room opened and in entered a large, grey wolf with a tray on his back.
“Good morning, Woo,” said Almendra, her face splitting into a grin. She pecked the wolf on the nose and took a large mug of hot tea from the tray. Breathing in the familiar scent of mint, she clutched the cup in her hands and raised it into the air like one would a goblet at a feast, her hazel eyes alight with humour.
“Cheers!” she said loudly and “May today be the day!” before bringing the cup to her lips.
Woo walked towards the window and drew back the curtains with his teeth – the sky outside was dull grey. Almendra drank her tea and placed it back onto the tray as Woo was leaving the room.
In one big leap, she bounded out of bed, ran across the carpeted floor and hid behind the screen, her long, brown, fluffy hair flying in her wake.
Almendra picked up a thick rope, lying in a coil on the floor, with an iron hook on one end, then wound it around a huge wheel it was fixed to on the other end, opened the window and threw the rope down.
A second later the hook hit the ground with a clunk.