Exclusive excerpt from fantasy novel Starlight Bender by Sofia Nedic
Imani Stone has a secret—she possesses an ancestral power to bend starlight.
Having grown up in the lush, magical hills surrounding the ancient city of Lumenor, she is no stranger to star-gazing, potion-making, or tarot-reading. However, in the time of civil war in her city, Imani must hide her power to avoid being recruited by the queen’s legions or killed by the ruthless rebels. But everything changes once the city learns of an incoming army of warriors threatening to destroy Lumenor and steal their starlight crystal. Imani is met with a choice—remain in hiding and help her family or risk everything and join the queen’s legions.
But does she have what it takes to be a legionnaire?
Can she help save Lumenor, or will she be the cause of its demise?
Exclusive Excerpt from Starlight Bender
“A little distraction from time to time wouldn’t kill you,” Cella suggested, clipping a black choker around her neck. “No one is asking you to pick a husband.”
“I will do as I please, thank you very much. I have a lifetime ahead of me to pick a man, but I can only win the crown once,” Raina said with determination and dropped Cella’s golden pin into her pocket, borrowing it for the night. “What qualifies the three of you to give out advice on such matters anyway?” she asked. “Alone, alone.” She pointed at me and Cella. “And a hopeless case, I am sure,” she concluded, poking her nose towards Shei.
“I would refrain from insults before I lose the only friends I have left,” Cella scorned. “And Shei is not a hopeless case!”
Shei’s cheeks blossomed like red poppies come springtime, but she remained silent.
“Kirrah help me,” Raina moaned, “you three are my only friends. Who would have thought! Come on Imani, time to get ready.”
I followed Raina into her room, which was as beautiful as I imagined the queen’s chambers to be. Unlike her father, she was very fond of color—her sheets mirrored the night skies, sheer drapes veiling her bed like liquid gold. A set of ancient warrior blades hung above her admirable collection of jewelry—gold, silver, precious crystals, you name it. A sculpture of Uche, Lumenor’s famed heroine, gazed back over her shoulder while a slayed stone head representing her opponent swung from her hand. The air in the chamber was spiced with the same rose and cinnamon scent Raina wore on her skin. A portrait of a woman with chestnut eyes was painted on the wall above the desk, a crown of silver curls contrasting her twilight skin. That must be Raina’s mother. I wondered what happened to her, but I knew better than to ask.
I gasped. “You live like a queen!”
“I intend to be one.”
About Sofia Nedic
Sofia Nedic is a Slavic immigrant living in Austin, Texas with her husband and pup. She is a tech and fantasy nerd, and an avid enjoyer of ancient history, spirituality, and alchemy. When she is not working or crafting stories, she is exploring nature, reading books, visualizing her daydreams through AI art, or immersing herself in tarot and astrology.
Sofia visualizes the scenes and characters from her stories with AI art on her Instagram @starlight_bender.
Sofia Nedic will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.