Mentor: Brent Taylor
Mentee: Rachel Moser-Hardy
Title: A LANGUAGE DARK AND LOVELY
Category/Genre: MG Fantasy
Word Count: 88,000
Some books have a peculiar habit of causing trouble. When Lily finds a book only she can read, she must use it to stop her villainous father’s rise to power. However, a blackbird steals the book.
The forest untouched by daylight had many names. To some, it was the “Nightlands.” To others, it was the “Traveller’s Doom.” Some called it the “Tread-Not Woodlands,” and many, the “Dark Moon Forest.” But one child had the misfortune of calling it home.
Twigs and branches snapped beneath her feet as she scurried among the tall, decaying trees. She pulled her black shawl tighter around her shoulders as the familiar coldness of the forest settled into her bones like snow collecting in an open chimney, extinguishing the fire within.
She was late.
She had spent the evening shopping for bread and fruit in the village, under orders of her Masters, and had been instructed by none other than her Great Master to return precisely at midnight. However, the merchant of the bread shop had accused her of being a thief (apparently, she looked the sort), and after a dismally long argument, she had been shooed out of the shop with a rather uncomfortable dustpan. Now she was returning seventeen minutes late without the desired bread. Double trouble.
The child, a bit preoccupied by her current predicament and fears of what her punishments might entail, did not notice the little blackbird with snowdrop gray eyes following her every step.
The blackbird fluttered from branch to branch, never letting the child slip out of his gaze. She was easy to follow, her icy blonde hair contrasting drastically with the blackness surrounding her. She hurried on and on through the dense trees, unknowingly leading the blackbird exactly to the place for which he had been searching.