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Kareed of Archeld killed my father, king Veldon of peace loving Bellandra,
when he conquered our land. He also took the famed Sword of Bellandra,
a crystal from our seer, and me, Landen, as a slave for his daughter, Torina.
The princess, however, did not believe in slavery and gave me my freedom.
I was allowed to join the other
men of my age, to train as a warrior of Archeld. I excelled at Archery
since it had been a `sport' in Bellandra, but I knew next to nothing about
the other arts of war. At first, I was harassed and treated as an outsider
but was eventually accepted by all but a few.
Then, Torina used the crystal
to become a seer in her own right and used her visions to save my life.
In return, I warned her that Vesputo was only wooing her as a method of
gaining her father's throne. She was furious with me, until Vesputo showed
his true colors. At which point we were both forced to flee for our respective
Sam Marsh for The
Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award 2005