Summary in a Nut-Shell: Aleks Mickelsen has a new friend, but this white raven is intent on stirring up trouble.
Aleks Mickelsen is a changeling with diminishing magical powers and a new nuisance of a pet. For the first time in his life, he’s lost. He led his friends to the wrong place, and sure they might joke about there being worse things to face than disorientation, but comparing what Aleks did to the Wild Hunt breathing down their necks, even if the comparison is somewhat favorable, isn’t all that comforting. Hopefully, Aleks can get his head on straight and get them all back on track to fighting Fritjof, otherwise chaos is going to win.
Excerpt from Working Draft:
Aleks came awake at the sensation of something digging painfully into his side. At least it wasn’t a knock to the head by the bird. He shifted, trying to get comfortable and disturbed whatever was lodged beneath him. It skittered away with a faint tinkling sound. He kept his eyes closed in the effort to not wake up, but he now that he was aware, he was cold.
He shivered and half-sat to try to find where he’d kicked his sleeping bag. Groping blindly, he found nothing on top of his legs. With a mental sigh, he shifted his focus to the side and touched something cold, solid, and damp. Jerking his hand back, Aleks reluctantly pried one eyelid open and looked around.
Darkness pressed in on him. He couldn’t see anything. Not even his hand, which he waved in front of his face. He rubbed his arms and lay back down, determined to ignore the cool dampness seeping into is bones. Curling into a ball, he closed his eyes to sleep, but the digging sensation which had woken him had returned and he couldn’t get comfortable.
With a sigh of disgust, he rolled over and sent a bunch of things skittering. The sound was like a cascade of beans in a rainstick – loud and swift. Unnatural. He bolted upright and searched the dark.
“Geirr, Henrik, did you hear that?” he asked.
They had to be awake after that racket. Even Filip’s snores had stopped from within the other tent. He strained in the dark to hear if anything else was moving. The quiet that followed was unbroken.
“Something’s wrong,” he said, trying to warn his friends without making any sudden movements.
Nobody answered, worrying him. He swung his hands along the ground and knocked into something. It toppled over with a dull metallic thunk. The stargazer? He checked his pocket. Still there.
“Guys, wake up,” he said. “Hello?”
“Hello?” a new voice echoed. It was vaguely familiar.