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.
Lydia grabs a branch with her hand as she goes under it. It’s large and flimsy, and it bends when she pushes on it. She whirls around and puts her back up against the tree, then grabs my arm and slings me around beside her.
She pulls back on the branch and releases it, hitting the woman sorcerer square in the face and causing her to tumble backward into the others.
“Go! Go! Go!” she shouts, sprinting farther ahead. I jump up and follow her as she heads deeper into the forest. It takes only a few seconds before I hear footsteps behind us again. My lungs burn. I’ve never been one for stamina.
We curve around a rock that’s taller than we are, and each slip behind a tree on the other side.
Maybe they’ll run right past us, and we can go another way. At this point, it seems pretty unlikely that we’ll be able to outrun them.
I try to stay quiet and steady my breathing.That alone could give us away.
After a few moments, we hear the sound of leaves crunching under boots as they slowly come around the rock.They’re not sure where we are, which is good, but they aren’t arrogantly running past us, either, which is very bad.
My hands are shaking, and I flatten them against the bark of the tree to try and steady them. I don’t hear anything. Maybe they’re trying to hear us.
I look over at Lydia, who is two trees down from me. She looks back at me with worried eyes as she too tries to quiet her breathing. Eventually, I wonder if they’re not even there anymore, and I lean my head back against the tree.
That’s when the man’s sword stabs through the trunk and comes out the other side, barely an inch above my head. My blood runs cold. I look back at Lydia with wide eyes. She returns my look, and we dart away once again.
Cutting through the trees, we find ourselves running along the river again, which is now much wider and deeper.
They’re fast and catching up even more than before. I notice that the water drops off a little farther ahead, probably into a waterfall.
And it’s not long before I realize the ground drops off too, just as we approach the edge. Lydia and I skid to a halt and look over the side. A huge pool of water churns at least a hundred feet down, then turns into a fast-moving, white-water river.
We look around us, trying to find a way around, but there isn’t one.The only options are to go back or jump, neither of which is very appealing.
“Dammit!” Lydia yells. “We’re trapped.” Her eyes flicker back and forth as she watches the churning waters below. The shouts from behind us grow louder, the sorcerers getting closer with every second.
“What do we do now?” I ask.
“We don’t have a choice.We have to jump,” she says, trying to catch her breath.
My heart pounds.“That’s at least a hundred-foot drop!What if we don’t make it?”
Lydia hesitates. “We’ll make it,” she says, her voice shaking. Somehow, it doesn’t comfort me much.
I look down at the fast-moving river below and then turn to look at the sorcerers who are approaching fast.Their hands glow different colors as they prepare their magic.
The idea of jumping off a waterfall is more terrifying than facing the sorcerers, but I know our chance of living to see tomorrow is greater with the former. Is there an option C? I look over at Lydia and give her a quick nod.“Okay.”
We turn, hold hands, and step to the edge.
“On three,” I say.“One.”
“Two...” Lydia continues.
We jump off just as the orbs fly over our heads and the sorcerers reach the edge. We plummet down.
My stomach jumps into my throat. I can’t breathe.
After seconds that feel like an eternity, we disappear into the clouds of mist and plunge into the water below.