Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Endings #6

Name: Jami Montgomery

Title: Knight's End

Description:
Aston Smith, Knight of Fridel, has been assigned to capture the Rogue Royal, a murderer killing corrupt monarchs. He leaves Fridel when he is accused of letting the Rogue escape, and is sentenced to hang.
He meets Jade du Halen and begins travelling with her, though he doesn't know she is the princess of a neighboring kingdom, and knows nothing of the dark secret she harbors. Or that she ran away from Adion to avoid an arranged marriage to the Marquess of Northsbury.
The two travel, searching for clues and slowly falling in love. But can they really catch a practiced murderer, save Aston’s life, and keep Jade from having to marry Marquess Jacob? Especially when so many others are determined to stand in their way?

500 words of ending:
“What about your father?” she asked him.

Talbot shrugged. “What about him?”

Jade smiled and pulled Talbot into a hug before standing and going to her wardrobe. She grabbed a bag and quickly packed it. She would have laughed at the irony of the situation if she wasn’t so sad.

“How do we go without being noticed?” Talbot asked her.

The princess glanced at her window and smiled. “I have an idea.”

An hour later, she’d been to the throne room and retrieved Aston’s satchel, telling her mother and father that she needed it to part with her feelings. Her father had objected, but the queen had been more than happy to allow Jade to take it. Now, she was climbing down the grey walls of the palace backwards, holding onto the rope from Aston’s grappling hook. Talbot had gone through the palace and out the front door, his hurt shoulder not allowing him to climb down.

As soon as her feet touched the ground, Jade felt her heart lift a bit. She’d felt too cramped, being inside the palace. The place that had once been her home held nothing but bad memories.

She turned to take one last look at it before blowing a kiss to the moss covered walls and to her knight, who was still somewhere inside. Then she turned and followed after Talbot, racing him to the stables. She tacked her horse slowly, watching as Sebastian helped Talbot tack Red and then gave the prince a hand up.

“Can you ride with one arm?” she questioned.

Talbot smirked at her. “How do you think I travelled here?” he answered.

Jade watched in awe as the prince maneuvered his big bay with his knees, holding the reins in only one hand. She smiled at him before finishing Sterling and mounting. Sebastian handed her Edward’s reins as well, and she smiled down at him.

“Leaving again, Princess Jade?” he asked her, a twinkle lighting up the old man’s eyes.

Jade nodded and leaned down to kiss the man on his wrinkled cheek. “Thank you, Sebastian, again,” she told him. She followed Talbot out of the stables and onto the path leading away from Adion. Talbot broke Red into a run and Jade followed, urging Sterling faster. Aston’s satchel bounced against her back as she rode, and she felt comfortable, having him so close.

She vowed to herself that she would catch Aston’s murderer or die trying. She was grateful to have Talbot to help her, and she knew Delgrab, Alys, and even little Richie would do all they could to help as well. She clung to Aston’s sword, which she held in her lap, laid across the saddle, and smiled. She would learn to fight with the blade. She would become strong and agile, quick and sure-footed. This would be her weapon from now on. It had been chosen for her.

Chosen for her at her Knight’s End.

4 comments:

  1. The first thing that threw me off was it seems like we’re reading about a different hero than the one mentioned in the summary.

    I like that we’re looking at a strong heroine who is going to learn how to use a sword and isn’t waiting around for some guy on a white horse to save her.

    However, I think this could use a little more sensory details. The events are outlined and easy to follow, but giving more attention to little details will make the scene more vivid for the reader. Like how she looks at the moss covered stones after climbing out the window.

    For instance, this special satchel. I imagine it was described earlier in the novel, but there’s nothing descriptive now that would remind me why it doesn’t look like a boring bag.

    It sounds as though Jade is sneaking out of the castle, and I’m curious if there’s anything she’ll regret in leaving. You say she has bad memories, but the mother seems decent enough since she let her have the satchel. The simplicity of having Talbot walk out the front door also makes me wonder if Jade could just slip out in the middle of the night and if going out the window is necessary.

    There are a few minor things you can trim. Ex: “Can you ride with one arm?” she questioned. I’d just have the dialogue since the question mark implies she’s asking a question.
    EX: Talbot smirked [at her]. “How do you think I travelled here?” (I think traveled has one L, but I’m always spelling it with two for some reason.) [he answered.] <<Again, we know he’s the one talking from the earlier tag so “he answered” is implied and probably could be trimmed.

    It sounds like you've got plenty of ideas left to write a sequel. Good luck with this!

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  2. Jami! This is a lovely ending, and you already know I love books like this :-) I did see a few things I thought I would point out:

    I agree with the comment above that you could trim some of the dialogue tags. For example:

    Jade nodded and leaned down to kiss the man on his wrinkled cheek. “Thank you, Sebastian, again,” she told him.

    On that one, I don't think you need the "she told him" at the end, because it's obvious from her action (of kissing the old man) and her saying his name that she is addressing him.

    Second, about horseback riding, I thought it was a little odd that Talbot would show off maneuvering a horse one-handed and "with his knees." Riding one-handed isn't all that uncommon (and Jade does it later herself when she's holding on to the sword), but also, the knees part doesn't ring true with me. Usually, the calves and feet are more important. If someone gripped with their knees, I think their balance would be thrown off, especially at higher speeds. (This is all from my own riding experiences. Someone else might have a different opinion.)

    And the last thing that I noticed was that 5 out of the 7 sentences in the last big paragraph started with "She." You might try to reword one or two of them to vary the sentence structure, especially since this is the end of the book and it will leave an impression on readers.

    Love the last line :-D And I really like the feel of this, the tone. It definitely feels like an ending, yet the set up for a potential second book is undeniable. Great job!! You know I'm rooting for you!!

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  3. I agree with the above comments, especially about the comment tags. Also, I was confused because he asked how they'd get out unnoticed, and while she was sneaky with her reply and then snuck out the window, he had to walk through the front door. How did he do that undetected if they were worried about it? Nice ending, though! I can tell you tied up a lot of loose ends while also leaving a few open for a possible sequel! Christy

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