Tara had watched her father smile as he tore the heart out of the King of Dondara’s chest. It had not been the first act of complete brutality she had seen, her father’s campaign had been saturated by similar murders and executions. Something had terrified her though, something in the old King’s eyes in the moment before Forbeath ended his life. He had looked at the eight year old girl standing in the doorway to the throne room, recognised her, and offered her pity.
Afterwards her father had the body taken away to be burned, leaving strict instructions that the blood was to be left to dry. No one questioned the new King as he picked up his daughter, streaking her face with blood as he pushed her hair away from her face.
It had been blonde then, the same colour as her mothers, but he made her dye it later on. He couldn’t stand to be reminded of his wife.
“That is how you get what you want in this world Tara.” He’d said, chuckling as her tiny hands had tried to wipe the flecks of blood from his cheeks. “You have to take everything or end up with nothing.”
She’d nodded, not really understanding the meaning behind her father’s words but sensing she needed to agree. Everyone agreed for with Forbeath, those who forgot that simply vanished and no one spoke of them again.
Her father was not always cruel or evil. There had been times when he showed sparks of kindness. He’d rumbled into her chambers one night with a fistful of ragged cloak and a dark skinned girl scrambling along beside him.
A few snapped words to the servants and he was gone, leaving the girl alone in the midst of strangers and Tara staring on in confusion.
A friend was his explanation. Aysanté was a thief who’d managed to kill three guards with a dagger from her boot before they’d pinned her down. This horrified Tara’s ladies in waiting, but fascinated the young princess. Aysanté was older, wiser and in Tara’s opinion, a lot more fun than anyone else in the entire castle.
They were not friends right from the start, in fact Aysanté treated Tara with an air of complete indifference for the first year, the fear of Forbeath’s wrath the only thing keeping her within the castle walls.
Rebels had broken without the guards noticing. Slipping through corridors as silent as nights and stealing into the Princess’s chambers with only one task in mind, to kill Forbeath’s only joy.
Aysanté had stabbed them.
Here is the prologue for my manuscript Obscurité (working title).
What I desperately need for you is feedback. Would you read this if it was a completed novel?
What do you think of the characters so far?
Do I need to develop the characters or plotline further in the prologue or should I save that for the main body of the novel and jump strait into chapter one? (The book will be set during Tara’s 17th year where Aysanté is 19 and the pair of them are looking out for ways to rebel against Forbeath.)
Overall, does this work? What do you like, what don’t you like and how do you think I can improve it? (If you can think of any improvements)
I’m hoping to work on this manuscript over summer and I will keep you all updated on my progress. This will hopefully be the first manuscript that I try to send out to publishers on completion, so wish me luck.