PROLOGUE

Sniff. Sniff. Grunt.

She swatted at the damp nose nudging against her cheek, annoyed at the interruption to her dreamless sleep.

The girl grimaced when she was nudged gently by her horse once more. Her blue eyes fluttered and she yawned.

It didn't take her long to figure what the cause of her horse's skittishness was, as the sounds of rifles and pistol shots were much louder in the small fields of the town far from Terra's capital and her home town, Mirum, than they were the hour earlier. She stood quickly, gathering her things and capturing her horse's reins as she jumped on quickly, hiding her short hair beneath a small cap.

She cringed when she heard the clopping of her regiment's horses approaching quickly. She had left soon after their appalling discovery.

When they shot by, she looked frantically for the face of the boy she had loved, wanting to know if there was any semblance of the camaraderie that had developed between them since she had been assigned to the same camp as he.

Not once did he turn his eyes towards her.