Well, the first page is here.
As everyone who checks this site likely knows by now, I've been editing my novel, Chainbreaker, for nearly a year. The first draft has been finished for quite some time. After going through numerous iterations of the story (often writing more than 200,000 words only to discard each and every one of them), I think Chainbreaker is the perfect beginning to the Coldheart Cycle (previously referred to as the Imperfect Saga).
Right now, I need people who are willing and able to read and critique the first 50 pages within the next two months (critiques will be needed by August 1st, 2018). If you are interested, please contact my Facebook page or Instagram account. Alternatively, you can easily fill out the form at the bottom of this page.
Upon a small land mass known as the Twin Continents, the entirety of the human race struggles beneath the rule of the Seronian Empire. This entity has dictated that individuals with physical or mental disabilities are subhuman, resulting in their suffering, enslavement, and murder. A recent attempt to rebel against the regime has failed, leaving only one single hope for freedom: an infant girl whose race is believed to have been extinguished.
Chainbreaker Extended Summary
An oppressive regime established decades ago continues to inflict suffering upon mentally and physically disabled individuals. The rebellion that attempted to stop this regime has failed, leaving the inhabitants of the Twin Continents to believe that the Seronian Empire will survive until the arrival of the world's end (an arrival that is fast approaching).
Yet, amidst conflict between the empire and the rebellion, a child was born. A child belonging to a race that was believed to be long dead. This little girl could determine the true fate of the world, but who she becomes will be determined by those whose roof is over her head. Will she be rescued by the rebellion? Captured by the empire? Or will she remain in the clutches of the vile man who kidnapped her--a man who intends to use the girl's unique abilities to put himself in power?
In the end, does it truly matter? A world-rotting, life-consuming plague is spreading rapidly across the Twin Continents, threatening the last known place on earth that can still support life, and no one knows how to stop it.
The First Page
Black smoke from the capital city spilled into the rebel encampment, pushed there by a strong gust of wind from the nearby ocean. Helmet-less, poorly-armored soldiers of the Falcon Rebellion coughed heavily as Edward pushed past them, his own helmet protecting him from breathing in too much of the smoke. He glanced up, trying to see the distant capital city. Smog distorted his view, but he could still make out walls, towering buildings, and pillars of fire if he squinted to focus his vision. Edward wiped his visor and kept moving, mercenaries in tow.
Tents shuddered as increasingly strong winds threatened to pull their stakes from the earth and send them tumbling from the campground. Overhead, a flag was pulling away from its post, which was vibrating so fiercely that the rebel emblem its flag was meant to display—a golden falcon stretching its talons toward unseen prey—was distorted and unrecognizable. Soldiers who were standing guard outside of the tents were repeatedly bombarded with clouds of dust that the wind threw into their eyes. The guards who were walking with Edward—mercenaries Edward personally had hired, not rebel soldiers or guards employed by his house—shielded their eyes before they could be hit by a particularly large cloud, then continued to press onward after their client.
No one bothered to ask where Edward was leading the men with such determination. Soldiers would just nod or salute as he passed by, in the rare cases when they could actually see him through the dust and smoke. The only time Edward’s movement was halted was when he reached his destination: a medical tent. Outside of the tent stood two soldiers and a general. The latter individual was distinguished from the other two by the armor he wore: bright-blue metal from head to toe and a helmet featuring a gold-tinted visor. It was similar to the armor that Edward was wearing, though the colors were reversed. Armor of that quality was reserved exclusively for the highest-ranking individuals in the Falcon Rebellion: generals and members of the Talon, like Edward. On the breastplate of each man was the same falcon emblem displayed on the flags throughout the camp. The general’s emblem was gold instead of blue, keeping with the reversed color schemes of their attire.
Apart from the color reversal, there was one other key difference in their attire: Edward wore a blue cloak that was pinned at his left shoulder. The pin resembled a falcon’s eye and had been brushed with the same golden paint as the rest of Edward’s armor. Most everyone in the Falcon Rebellion was aware of what that pin represented.
The general, being one of those who knew what the pin represented, hastily pulled off his own helmet and saluted before addressing Edward. The soldiers who stood on either side of the general saluted as well, but they were more quick to do so since they had no helmets to remove. “Lord Eye,” the general greeted, “how may I assist you?”
“Let me through," answered Edward impatiently, glaring at the man he recognized as Sean Bolte.
General Bolte glanced over his shoulder at the medical tent and turned back to Edward. The general began to respond, but his words were drowned out by an intense gust of wind. Once the din brought about by the powerful wind died down, he tried speaking again. “This is the tent which has been set aside for the Lord Scapular’s wife. She’s just had the child and no one is to enter.”
“I figured this was Donna’s tent, given that they’ve elected a general to guard it,” Edward stated, “that’s why I approached this one; I’m looking for her.”
“Why would you—”
“The Lord Scapular sent me!” Edward snapped, exasperated. “Tobias has requested that I check on the health of the child and report to him back in the field. Please step aside so that I may fulfill his request.”
Sean’s eyes narrowed slightly and his posture tightened. “Lord, the child is well. Donna has given birth to a healthy girl. You may report such to the Lord Scapular, but I was instructed by him not to allow anyone to enter the tent.”
“Surely you understand that he would exclude me from that instruction!” Edward snorted. “I’m a member of the Talon!”
“I have given you the status of the child as requested,” the general declared, “so you may now leave.”
The general’s soldiers seemed to notice that their leader was growing tense, as they began to do the same. They stiffened and looked expectantly toward Sean. Seeing this, the mercenaries behind Edward looked at one another and grinned, excited at the prospect of a fight.