Hi, I’m Angel Leya, and I write clean young adult stories with (at least) a touch of magic and romance. My latest story is Running Toward Illumia, Astrea’s tale of finding herself while running from the one thing she wants most: To find her sense of belonging.
Astrea’s lived in the Mist all her life, and she loves it there. In fact, she’d do just about anything to feel like she fits in with her Rudan people, even hunt a unicorn to feed her starving tribe.
Illumia is the first city beyond the Mist, just past the Dragon Range. Astrea’s come up with 10 reasons to never go to Illumia. I’ll let her tell you more.
10. They don’t have fog.
Who needs sunshine? I’m a Mist girl. Great for concealing movement, comfortable like an old blanket, and you never have to worry about dry skin.
9. They don’t all have red hair.
That’s why this tribe is here, despite being sent to the fog to die. And why we call ourselves the Rudan, rather than the Banned.
Wish my hair was redder. And I could use a few more freckles. But I’m one of the Rudan, I swear. I’d be dead if I wasn’t.
8. They’re weak.
Fog weeds out the weak. And if the fog doesn’t, the Lynx, ogres, or Rudan will. Illumians live the easy life. They have no reason to be strong.
7. They’re not very welcoming.
The Rudan take in anyone who can survive the fog. Illumians kicked us out (or at least my parents, but children of the Banned are no less welcome).
6. Illumians are idiots.
Everyone says so.
5. Big government.
I know all five of my council members, and they earned their spot. Like Seneca, first huntress—my mentor. Illumians probably have no idea who runs their council.
4. The journey’s dangerous.
Even if you can navigate the fog, streams filled with flesh-eating fish, and ogre-infested swamps, there’s the dragon range. There’s one pass, guarded by Illumians. The rest is mountain. Treacherous, dragon-housing mountains. No other way around it. Going to Illumia is a fool’s errand.
3. My family’s not there.
If you think getting one person into Illumia is hard, try five. Two brothers, plus Mamaa and Pawpaw.
Course, the whole tribe’s basically family. I’d want to take them all.
Except maybe Mavin. He’s a jerk. (Kidding. Sort of.)
2. I can never come back.
Going to Illumia is a one-way trip. Illumians and dragons ensure that.
1. I don’t want to.
Do I need any other reason?
Thanks for reading! If you’d like more, click for an excerpt from Banned, Part 1 of Running Toward Illumia.
Get all 4 parts of Running Toward Illumia today: