My name is Joy and I am seventeen. I have been taking Creative Writing courses for over a year and have been writing stories for much longer. In my opinion, the best thing to do is writing stories, and the second best is when people read them and give me their advice.
So The Princess and the Assassin is a trilogy, and I have actually written all three books already. But as my writing progresses, my style changes, and now I feel I have to rewrite everything all over again. There were simply too many flaws and things I had to change.
Since it is a very long story of nearly five hundred pages and I haven’t rewritten so much yet, I will begin by posting the prologue of the first book, which is called Kingdom’s Thorns
I tried to protect. Until I found out that what I was fighting for wasn’t mine to protect.
I fought to take it back, but I lost. So I tried to avenge. But where was justice in such destruction, such hate?
I became Green Sleeves. I had seen what the people called the right and the wrong of this world. And I call both neither. The picture that I had been seeing my entire life was only half of what was painted. I failed with both halves, so I painted my own.
But I wasn’t always this way. A cruel story always starts with innocence. I started where everyone begins. On a quest for justice.
Her hair was the color of blood. He could see her in the red gown, nearly lost in the sea of people dressed in like colors.
All around, people were laughing, dancing, or feasting. A group of the kingdom’s best minstrels played one song after the other to enhance the joyful spirit. Everything lavishly decorated with colors of red and gold. It was a grand celebration indeed. Much drinking and the likes. If not dancing, the lords and rich merchants gathered to barter, the ladies to chat.
And walking through the midst was he, dressed in drab colors of black and dark green. A dagger hidden in his cloak. Small tubes and vials filled with different poisons lined the left side of his belt. Short and stealthy, his existence was easily drowned among the great throng of people.
His attention was fixed on her, the princess, walking back to her father’s side after a round of dancing. He studied her close. Three soft feathers of blue dangled from the rings that pierced her ears, lightly touching the curve of her neck. The veil that covered her face like a thick fog was poked slightly by the tip of her nose, but no other facial features could be seen. She seemed happy though. Clearly, she had no idea what was coming for her this night.
“Ah, there you are, my dear,” said the old king, taking the princess’s delicate hand in his wrinkled one and kissing it. “Though my eyesight fails me, your beauty is impossible to miss. But why the veil to cover your beautiful face?”
The princess only laughed quietly.
As a tall man approached them, the princess’s father turned to greet him. “Ah, King Terrowin. What a pleasurable surprise it is to see you here so early.”
“Your Grace, the honor is mine. The journey to Three Feather took far less time than expected. And the trouble I’ve been having cleared up quicker than I thought as well.”
“Trouble? What trouble?”
“Matters that should not be discussed on such a lovely evening. I did not intend on coming early, but it seems like I have come on a perfect night.”
“It is good, and convenient, for I fear I may not have much time left on this earth, and I feared much lately that there was not a good man in this kingdom to continue my rule and marry—” the king broke into a fit of coughs “—and marry my daughter.”
“Father, what?” One didn’t have to see the expression on the princess’s face to notice her shock.
“It’s just another suitor,” the king assured her with a wink his wrinkled face could hardly produce.
King Terrowin smiled and turned to the princess. “The fair Princess Evangeline. Your Highness, might we have a dance?”
“Your Grace,” she said, curtsying. She turned to face her father as King Terrowin took her hand and bowed slightly.
“That is an excellent idea. Why don’t you two enjoy this night, then perhaps we discuss the matter later on.”
“But, father I—”
King Terrowin gently led her to the large circular dance floor. The minstrels played a happy song that seemed to lighten the princess’s distress, and she laughed.
King Terrowin smiled. Princess Evangeline spun around, then came back into the king’s arm’s. “Come now, princess. Surely I cannot be such a bad choice.” They went apart, but the king continued to hold the princess’s hand, as the dance required.
“Consider my wealth, my power,” King Terrowin continued. “I may be somewhat older than you, but you will need someone experienced like me to guide you.”
“I must think on it,” said the princess.
King Terrowin chuckled. “Come, princess. I will relieve you of the tough burden us rulers must carry.”
“I do not need to be relieved of anything, King Terrowin,” the princess argued. “I have attended many council meetings. I have observed kings and others in high position. I know politics. And my father wants me to get equal rights in the ruling of the kingdom.”
“Yes, that is what has turned down most suitors, hasn’t it?” King Terrowin asked. “Most of them simply wanted you for the richness, for the power. But see, princess. That is where I am different. I want you—”
“Why, princess, I want my heart back. You have stolen it, but I suppose if you give me yours in turn, I shall be more than satisfied.”
The princess looked down, laughing slightly. “Oh, you are a charming flatterer.”
The music stopped, and the dancing with it. Panting from the exercise, Princess Evangeline followed King Terrowin from the circle of dancers.
“Well, I must speak to your father. That was a nice dance, was it not?” King Terrowin looked lovingly down upon the princess.
“Yes. Please excuse me. I must rest.”
“Are you alright, Your Highness?” King Terrowin looked at her with worry.
“Yes, I just—I just need to take a break. A moment alone in the gardens would do me good.”
“Very well. But are you sure you don’t need me to—”
“No please. I’m fine. I just need to be alone for a little while. Adelaide, my servant, should be waiting for me in the gardens. So don’t worry about me.”
“As you wish. I’ll make sure that you’ll get your privacy then. Wait, did you say your servant was going to be there?”
“Yes, don’t worry.” And so she drew herself away from the king. Ducking through the crowd and evading as many people as possible, the princess eventually made it to the royal gardens. She opened the small gates and entered.
Oh, if she only knew that waiting in the shadowy boughs of the tree was the assassin that would spell her doom. He watched and waited as she slowly walked into the dark gardens, where moon was the only light.
She took her time, strolling through a winding pathway that led her through a maze of roses and flowers. Benches waited alongside every now and then, but he had chosen to wait in the branches of the tree. It was the perfect spot, with a small pond and a few particularly beautiful flowers growing in decorated pots. A small bench right underneath the tree invited the princess to sit.
Finally, the time had come. His heart didn’t race. His breathing didn’t quicken. No adrenaline. He had done this time and again. This mission would be no different. It didn’t matter, princess or no princess. It was his job. And he would not allow the thought of failure to enter his mind.
When she at last made it to the bench under the tree, she instead of sitting down walked to a clay pot. Yes, beautiful flowers indeed. Wasting no time, he drew his dagger and pounced.
King Terrowin gazed after the princess as she walked away. He turned, caught sight of the king, and rushed to him.
“Your Grace, are you well?” King Terrowin asked.
“I think I changed my mind,” he said in a weak voice. “Draw up the papers now. I must have this marriage seen through.”
“Oh, yes of course.” King Terrowin turned and ordered the closest servant to bring what was necessary. “I feel gratified, but if I may know, why the sudden decision?”
“I suddenly feel very ill,” said the king. “And I want a king for this kingdom when I die. I don’t want my daughter to be all alone in ruling.”
“But me, Your Grace?”
“Draw up the papers!” And he burst into coughing. “Terrowin,” he rasped. “When I die, take care of my daughter.”
“Someone get a physician. The king is ill!”
Tears rolled coldly down her cheeks. Her heart pounded with fear. Standing in frozen shock, the young woman looked down upon the dead body of the princess. Blood on her white skin, on her red dress, blood on the ground. Eyes locked in terror.
Being her servant Adelaide, she had expected to meet with her here. She would have apologized for the slight delay, but now wasn’t sure if it had been fortune.
Shaking from her trance, she looked up and around. It had been the slightest sound, along with her alarmed senses, that caused her to see him. Her shaky breath caught. She couldn’t move. Just stared. And knew.
Standing by the gates was a small figure dressed in dark colors. He turned over, and for the briefest moment met her gaze. She caught the glint of the dagger in his belt. Saw the blood.
She knew what this meant.
The assassin suddenly took a turn towards her.
“Help!” she screamed as loud as she could. “Help me!”
The assassin hesitated none, turned suddenly, jumped onto the low garden walls, then disappeared over the edge. And when the people came rushing in with a pale faced King Terrowin, they found only the dead body of the princess. Gone was both the assassin and the princess’s maiden.