I like this part especially because it shows Astrea moving from vulnerable and unsure of herself, to powerful and brave. I hope you enjoy!
I hang back from the other girls, but the shopkeeper has been watching me as I run my fingers along each dress, reluctant to commit any to the changing room. I’m hesitant to see my plain reflection next to Isa’s curves and Garna’s elegance. She waves everyone away and takes my shoulders gently.
“Let me find your dress. You should look like the star, shooting from heaven,” she tells me quietly, kindly, her eyes lingering on my diamonds. Her subtle admiration gives me pause – in the midst of all my preparation for the worst, I have failed to remember the hope my Choosing Day means for the people of Asphodel.
We are an underground people. People who worship the sun, moon, and stars, yet have never seen such things ourselves. My partnership with Lexan allows the prophecy to begin. The star-bright maiden and her scales of justice.
I am – without asking, without wanting – a savior of Asphodel.
The impending reality of this thought sends me to my knees on the floor of the small changing room. I never wanted this. I’m not even seventeen. I can’t run a city…I can’t even manage my own small life. How can they expect this of me?
Then I realize that this is precisely why Keirna is angry – in her mind, we do not need a child savior. Surely there are others who feel this way as well, some who are certain Asphodel does not need a revolution, no matter what the ancient prophecy requires.
A knock on the door. A bundle of red fabric passed hand over hand. A click of the latch. And I’m alone with my destiny.
I open the door and peek out, shy but strangely proud. Several girls are grouped at the edge of the mirror, chatting and giggling. Isa sees my face first.
“Well, come on out, silly! I want to see you in that dress!”
Hesitantly, I open the door a bit further. Isa’s enormous smile lends me the courage I need to emerge, and the girls’ squeals and spontaneous claps prompt me to look in the mirror.
The dress is exquisite. Brilliant veins of orange and red flow around me, catching the true fiery pigments of my hair. The light fabric envelops my body, showing off muscles I have recently developed and curves I never knew existed. A lower skirt of ash gray, sewn with thousands of tiny crystals, swirls beneath the ribbons of sheer red fabric, sparkling in competition with the diamonds in my cheek and lighting up my dark gray eyes. The neckline is low enough to cause me embarrassment, and the back dips as well, held in place by a dozen thin strands of crystal.
I am…beautiful, somehow. I was made for this dress.
I look powerful. Vivacious. I could twirl and combust and consume everyone if I desired.
My ****4 Star Review****
When I started reading Justice Buried I was thoroughly confused and didn’t think I would enjoy it. But then after being dumped in this underground world, I quickly started to find my place.
This story is such a unique blend of dystopian/sci-fi/fantasy and romance. The pacing is nice and smooth. The book never dragged, and the characters are all well-defined. I could relate to Astrea and sympathize with her, and yet I could still see the age appropriate immaturity in her. I appreciated her strength. If you want a tough heroin, you can find one here! Then there’s the intriguing love triangle with Lexan and Stian. Let me say that I have a clear favorite! If you read the book, I’d love to discuss it with you!!
Aside from the characters, the plot really sucked me in! It’s definitely not predictable, and I can’t wait to read the next book to see where it’s going! I’ll warn you. This ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. You’re just reading along and then BAM, the end. It got me, though, can’t wait to read the next one!!
*I received a copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.*
Author’s Note: this is not a full-length sequel to Justice Buried. It is a short novella telling Lexan’s side of the story!
There will come three…
A child of peace, born in a place of war.
A child of right, born in a place of many wrongs.
A child of lawfulness, born in a place with no laws.
The secrets of Asphodel continue to spill as Lexan tells his side of the story. Lexan has been pretending for so long that he barely remembers why. All he knows is that it’s getting harder to be the image of perfection that everyone expects. With Keirna plotting murder, Saloman having visions, and Trea throwing tantrums, Lexan just might be ready to risk his world for the chance at a better one. Available now on Amazon!
About the AuthorHilary Thompson is an independently-published author who released her debut Young Adult novel, Justice Buried, in January, 2014. Justice Buried is the first in a dystopian fantasy series incorporating mythology and astrology, with the second full-length title due later in 2014.
Enter to win a signed Copy of Justice Buried [US Only] or a $20 Amazon Gift Card [Int]!!