I said I was going to do a snippet this week because I haven’t the past two weeks and then I was busy all day yesterday and today, but I SAID I WAS GONNA DO IT AND I’M GONNA DO IT. Better late than never, right? (I need to get back to Saturday being my blog-post-writing day. :P)
The Archery Champion is some book in the Daughters of the Hylands series (I can never keep straight what order books 3-5 go in.) It’s about Malanda, oldest daughter of King Elk and Queen Crimson of Remera, who are main characters in The Half-Elves before they become king and queen. (They’re also my favorite.) Malanda loves archery and decides to start entering tournaments in The Hylands, which are known for their archery, and then… I’m not sure what happens because the planning in this series was terrible. But I have that much and I’m working off of that for this excerpt. XD
Without further ado…
Malanda took a deep breath and stepped onto the range. The crowd erupted into cheers and she smiled and waved once before taking up her place across from the second target. She adjusted her grip on the bow, carvings pressing into her hand, and shifted her fingers along an arrow in the other hand. She kept her eyes focused on the target in front of her, but kept aware of her surroundings. Soren was to her left. Eli, Annika, and Cornel to her right.
Her heartbeat thundered in her ears, almost as loud as the roaring crowd, and she tried to tune out the noises. Soren glanced at her, and she thought she saw him smirk. Was he still that cocky?
Leomer took his place to the left of the range and some tension loosened in Malanda’s shoulders. She finalized her grip on the bow as the announcer lifted his arms. The crowd’s roar died down. Malanda’s gaze didn’t move from the tiny red dot in the center of the target.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have come to the semi-finals.” Leomer allowed the crowd to cheer a moment before silencing them again. “Our remaining champions are Soren Mallenor, returning with a two-year winning streak.” Another crowd eruption. “Malanda Arun, crown princess of Remera.” Malanda took deep breaths as the crowd cheered. “Eliam Reyn, duke of Lanestyr. Annika Mallenor. And Cornel Iren, duke of Oryan.”
When the roar had died down again, Leomer looked toward the contestants. Malanda took a deep breath.
Malanda knocked her arrow. Breath out.
She brought the bow up, pulling the arrow back. She breathed in as the feathers brushed against her cheek. She was just as taut as her bowstring.
Malanda let go and joined the chorus of twanging bowstrings, her breath leaving her as swiftly as the arrow had.
Thunk. Her arrow hit dead center of the target. She finally let herself look toward her opponents. Soren had made a bulls-eye, of course. Eli was a hair too far left. Annika had struck true.
There was no arrow in Cornel’s target, and she found out why as soon as her gaze strayed to him. His bowstring was broken and he was glaring straight at Soren, red-faced.
“You cheated! You sabotaged my bow!”
“I did no such thing.” Soren was calm. Collected. Haughty as always.
“The round will need to be replayed,” Leomer said. “Sir Iren, go see to a new bowstring.”
Cornel stormed off.