So I recently had someone say they found it hard to relate to the characters in one of my offline (Fantasy) WIPs after reading the following excerpt - however, they also told me fantasy isn’t their genre and that I should get a second opinion >.>
So if anyone has time to read ~800 words, I’d appreciate some feedback. Do you agree with them? Would you read on? Why/why not?
Thank you in advance for your time (ㅅ´ ˘ `)
Excerpt - Serasfall Chapter 1
Seras, the Floating Mountain
Year 296 A.T. of the Serenian Calendar
In the shadows of the ferns at the edge of the glade, thirteen-year-old Eliah Taitenschild lay in wait. Gentle rays of twilight filtered through the canopy above, reflecting off floating particles of aeonite to illuminate the clearing with a soft azure glow. At its centre was her quarry. The rabbit faced away from her, nose twitching as it took the time to investigate a moss-covered tree root.
It hadn’t noticed her yet.
In one fluid movement, Eliah drew an arrow from her quiver and nocked it to her bow.
Her Da had once said that there were three things that made a good hunter:
Ever so slowly, she rose to her feet.
Lining up her aim, she pulled back on the string with a soft but audible creak. Her quarry didn’t notice.
‘Eli! Where’d you go?’
The girl jumped and accidentally let loose. The rabbit squealed as her arrow thudded into the ground beside it and scampered off into the night. Cursing, she nocked another arrow, pulled back the string and aimed it at the young man who had appeared behind her.
With eyes as amber as her own, he glanced from the bow aimed at him to the arrow still quivering in the centre of the glade. ‘I take it that was a bad time to shout.’
Eliah glared. ‘You better have a good reason for scaring off my game, Aramir.’
‘Of course I do.’ Aramir jerked his head towards the north. ‘Signal fire’s been lit. The Titans are returning to the village, which means we need to as well. Don’t worry about the rabbit. We’ve got plenty of forage, and I snagged a deer in a trap near the cliff.’
The girl frowned as she lowered her bow. ‘I’m not taking credit for game you’ve killed.’ She collected her arrow and examined the buck’s tracks. Waving a hand over her shoulder, she said, ‘Go on ahead. I’ll catch up.’
Aramir sighed. ‘The sun is setting, Eli.’
‘Yes, I can see that.’
‘You get lost in daylight. How are you going to get back when it’s dark?’
She threw him a dirty look. ‘I’m not hopeless. I can see the fire from here.’
‘Of course, and while staring at the fire, you’ll forget to watch your feet and drop into a pitfall or – Gods forbid – off the edge of the mountain. It’s a long drop to the Mortal Realms, you know.’
‘I’m not that bad!’
Aramir snorted. ‘No, you’re worse – and I have stories to prove it. Now stop pouting and let’s go. Otherwise, I’ll just put you over my shoulder like a newborn babe and carry you and the deer home.’
The girl blushed. Eliah knew that he’d do it, and it wouldn’t be the first time he had either.
As children of Seras, the God of the War, most Seren were as tall as bears and built like them too. Eliah was one of the unfortunate exceptions, but Aramir was a specimen more immaculate than most. At eighteen-years-old, he stood at well over six feet tall and could single-handedly carry two large bucks home with ease. He wouldn’t break a sweat even if she struggled.
Left with no option, Eliah made an attempt at an exasperated. ‘Fine. Let’s go.’
Aramir chuckled. ‘That’s a girl.’
‘It’s not like you gave me any choice!’
He pretended not to hear.
Turning heel, Aramir led the way out of the clearing, into the wild forest brush. Like most of the Floating Mountain, the rocky terrain was rough with few signs of tread, and the path to the village was an uphill trek. Easy enough for him to navigate, but small and scrawny as Eliah was, she struggled to keep up. Aware of the girl’s condition, Aramir checked his pace, ensuring that he was close enough to turn and grab her if she lost her footing, but not so close that she could accuse him of keeping an eye on her.
By the time they reached the deer in the snare, Eliah was sweating and out of breath. She did her best not to show it, but a small tremor ran through her extremities, and her chest heaved with each shaky inhale and out.
She had a few minutes of respite as Aramir prepared the deer for transport, binding the legs and snout with vines from their forage. Hoisting the carcass onto his shoulder, he looked back at the girl. ‘Need a longer break?’ he asked.
The answer was ‘yes’, but Eliah shook her head. Fatigue was a weakling’s excuse – that was what the Teachings told, and no matter what the other Seren claimed, Eliah was no weakling. Taking a deep breath to steel herself, the girl set her shoulders, marched on ahead – and promptly tripped over a tree root. She barely caught herself in time.
A snicker escaped from Aramir’s lips, and she shot a flushed look over her shoulder. He quickly switched to a straight face. ‘And she thought she could make her way home in the dark alone,’ he said, taking the lead and shaking his head.
Eliah didn’t have a retort for that. Pulling a face at his retreating back, she followed her brother home.