Hayden Thorne, Queerteen Press, Small Gems

The Knight by Hayden Thorne

A father will do many things to protect his only son. A king will do many things to protect the heir to his throne, including, it seems, making sacrifices of his subjects’ children, like lambs on an altar, so they may take his son’s place as an offering to a plague. Misguided by love, or by duty and tradition for the sake of his lineage and his kingdom? Either way, the son will pay the price for the king’s duplicity.

Twelve times each year, for four years, the prince has stood shoulder to shoulder with his subjects, though he still stands apart simply because of to whom he was born. He stands with these children on a stage, participating in a lottery where the only way to win is through someone’s loss. The loss of friends, the loss of a first love, and then the loss of innocence when the prince discovers the farce in which he’s played an unwitting dupe—even those who win, lose.

In a moment of certain impulsivity, the prince turns the tables on his father and ensures that he will become the master of his own fate, for better or for worse. Though fortune will take her place in this deadly game, as well, in the form of a knight in piebald armor, mottled with the dirt of his travels and the dents of his trials; he will become savior and champion and friend to a young man who will gain clarity within the sense memory of a lost lover just before he is overcome by the rotted scent and shrieking howls of the dragon.

I read this tale twice—once for the sake of reading it, the second time for the sake of experiencing it and all it entailed. It is both heartbreaking and uplifting , a legend and lesson in honor and virtue and discovering a priceless friendship in the most unlikely of circumstances.

Buy The Knight HERE.

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