The Fighter of Aldea
Young Adult, Fantasy
It’s the year 2216, and ever since Lydia Humsworth was little, she’s heard stories about electricity that used to light up skylines and planes that soared through the sky like birds. There were also stories about The Shift, which plunged the world into darkness nearly two hundred years ago and gave some people magical abilities. These people came to call themselves sorcerers.
Now, in the small village of Aldea, sixteen-year-old Lydia is training to be a Fighter in hopes of one day protecting her village. Her best friend, Daniel, spends his days working long hard hours on the farm. Humans and sorcerers have always seemed to coincide peacefully, but when Leonardo Kinch–a deranged sorcerer who blames humans for the death of his family–starts a war against humans, nothing is as they believed.
When war rages across the country, Lydia and Daniel must do everything they can to stop the war and stay alive, or risk the human race falling into extinction.
I’ve never seen her look so crushed.
When she speaks, she sounds a bit detached. “Where is my mom?”
“She went to Albindale with some of the other Seamstresses to get fabric early this morning, so no one has been able to notify her. They’re expected to be back in a couple of hours.”
“He’s still passed out on your couch as far as I know.” Lydia doesn’t respond. A silence grows between us. Eventually, I pull her into a hug, which I’ve been aching to do for hours. “I was so scared that something happened to you. I thought I’d lost my best friend.”
Lydia hugs me back even tighter and rests her chin on my shoulder. She starts to cry, softly at first, but it quickly grows so intense that she can barely get breaths in. It breaks my heart. I feel so hopeless. I wish I could do something, anything to make her feel better. But the fact is, I’m even less knowledgeable in sorcery than the doctor is.The best thing I can do for her right now is to just be here. To be her friend.
So we stay like this for a long time until she is all cried out. When she pulls away, she’s calmer again. Sad, tired...but calm.
“Can you talk about something?” she asks after a while.
“Anything,” she says softly.
My first thought is to ask her about last night, but I know she probably asked me to talk because she wants something to take her mind off everything. So I decide not to bring it up and find something else. I’ll let her decide when she’s ready to talk about it.
I take a deep breath and say,“I see that Roy is in the room next to you.”
“Yeah?” she asks.“How is he doing?”
“He has a pretty bad concussion and a big purple bruise on his face in the shape of a hoof. The color suits him.”
A small smile finds its way onto her face and she lets out a quiet chuckle.The sight fills me with warmth. I thought it might be a while before I saw her smile again. I didn’t realize it would make me so happy to see her happy, though.
“You know, I heard we’re expected to get twenty inches of rain over the next month. Can you believe that?” I say, trying to keep the conversation going.
“Really? But we’ve already gotten so much.”
“That’s what I heard,” I say with a shrug.“I guess the drought is over.”
“I’ll say.” She sounds less distant than earlier, which I take as a good sign.
The door of her room creaks open behind us. Lydia turns her head toward the sound. “Who’s there?” There’s a weariness to her voice; she’s probably still a bit paranoid.
“It’s Phoenix. I came as soon as I heard.” He quietly closes the door behind him.
About the Author:
Kira Weston writes Young Adult fiction, often day-dreaming the what-ifs of magic and science fiction, and how they might affect the world. Her debut novel, The Fighter of Aldea, comes out October 15th, 2018. Kira grew up in Las Vegas, NV under the hot sun and the distant lights of the famous Las Vegas Strip, and now resides in Colorado, which is much cooler—most of the time.
Kira currently works in retail, but hopes to put her main focus on storytelling in the near future, whether it be through books, movies, or something in between. When she’s not writing, she spends her time befriending cats, hoping for rain, drinking mochas, and listening to music.
The Fighter of Aldea takes place in the future, but feels like it’s in the past. How did you come up with that setting?
I’m a big fan of science fiction, which usually takes place in the future, but course I’m also a big fan of fantasy, which usually takes place in the past or in a world that feels similar to ours in the medieval ages. When I was writing TFoA, I thought it would be a lot of fun to pull from both. What if it took place in the future, but felt like the past? If modern day society lost power, how would that effect the human race and our future? What if magic, instead of being a lore of the past, was the evolution of our future? The concept was very intriguing to me, and it ended up being one of the biggest foundations for the story, which I think added so much depth to the world and its history.
Why did you choose to become a writer?
I’m not sure I chose to be a writer as much as writing chose me. I wrote stories and scripts off and on throughout my childhood, not really labeling myself as a writer, but rather just doing something that I enjoyed. Some were short stories or beginnings of novels I never finished, others were short screenplays that I wrote with the intention of filming with my friends. I started writing more seriously in my teens, and nowadays, if I’m not writing, I’m usually thinking about my stories or listening to a story playlist or watching a tv show that inspires me with the world they’ve created. I love collaborating and exploring stories that ask what-if’s that could change how we see the world and how the world works, while learning about myself and the world as I go. I hope to explore a lot of stories in the future, whether it be through novels or film format.
What is your favorite part about being a writer?
It's pretty amazing how you can create a world and people out of your head. It's like creating something out of nothing, which is generally considered impossible. So, in a way, writers accomplish the impossible, they make... magic. And this thing that you and only you can create can bring laughter and tears to those you share it with. It can even change someone's life or give them a new outlook on something. It's pretty amazing what writers can do, and there's so much beauty in it, too. And if you're able to bring down your walls and write from your heart, the feeling of expressing yourself and the relief that it brings is like no other. So... Maybe it's a combination of all those reasons as to why I write. I will probably find new reasons for many years to come as I learn more about writing and more about myself and about life, but for now, I think that may be why I write.
I wasn’t a huge reader growing up. I read The Magic Tree House series when I was little, and got into Warriors when I was a bit older, but when I stumbled onto YA I was hooked. YA opened my eyes to a lot of things I hadn’t discovered in books before. It was the first time I read first person and duel-narrative, first trilogy, first romance. I love the stories that can be told through teenagers eyes, old enough that they can take on some intense things on their own (probably for the first time), but young enough that they’re not quite an adult either. It’s the age when someone’s life starts to open up to all kinds of new possibilities, so why not through in some fantastical possibilities too?
Without giving away spoilers, what was your favorite part of writing The Fighter of Aldea?
The whole process of writing the first draft of TFoA was so much fun. I didn’t have any kind of outline and I wasn’t entirely sure where I was taking it, but I just let myself have fun with it and the story flowed easier than anything I’ve ever written. Now that it’s finally finished, after many rounds of editing and polishing, there are definitely some parts that are my favorites.
Lydia has this sort of sarcastic humor that’s always a blast to write, and I’m a sucker for any gushy or sweet moments that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. But I always come back to Chapter 31, because there are so many elements that I love, there’s a lot of raw emotion and the events that unfold bring us to a twist that I hope readers will love as much as I do!
The second book of The Fighter of Aldea trilogy! It’s called The Sorcerer of Vantana, and I don’t have a set release date yet, but the first draft is written and I’m looking forward to diving into those edits! I’m really excited to release TSoV out into the world, and after you read The Fighter of Aldea, I hope you are too!
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