Category/Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 72,000
My Main Character would use snow to battle their biggest obstacle:
In Kaliyah’s world, where dragon fire threatens to extinguish life, snow and ice would be her strongest ally. Except for the snow dragons in the south, which are believed to no longer exist, the cold would cripple a dragon’s stoker preventing them from breathing fire. And no dragon is a match for Kaliyah’s bowmanship without his flames.
At Drakon Academie, scales and dragon fire govern the heavens and earth and magic is forbidden. Sixteen-year-old Kaliyah, a dragon slayer recruit, wants to break free from the fate of the legacy hanging over her head. But even with the skills of generations of slayers coursing through her veins, the rules beckon her to break them.
When Kaliyah frees a dragon, an action punishable by expulsion, she’s given a choice. Replace the fire-breathing creature or disgrace her father. The choice is obvious, but she didn’t count on the troublesome Ryu making her question everything she believes. She escapes with him into The Flats, the remnants of a magical world alive beneath the school, where dragon lore is real and the laws don’t apply. Here she learns the enchanted dragon serum given to recruits to enhance their physical abilities has a deadly side effect.
If Kaliyah doesn’t stop the Academie from administering the serum, recruits will die. And if she does, by law—she’ll be exiled, or executed. As Kaliyah’s and Ryu’s worlds converge, the dangerous lies uncovered at every turn stoke the flames between them. But one dark secret they both share could rip them apart…if it doesn’t destroy Kaliyah first.
Stoker will appeal to fans of Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina and Sherry Thomas’ The Burning Sky.
First 250 words:
Death before disgrace. Loyalty over life. Akademie above all.
The Drákon Akademie creed tumbles from my lips in a silent mantra—they are the words I must live by.
With a short bow in hand, I draw. When I narrow my eyes the space centered in the Stoker dragon’s chest becomes crisp. From two-hundred feet away it’s a speck. Dragon serum coursing through my veins forces my eyes to reshape and refocus the light. The dragon’s heart throbs beneath its thin leathery skin, the slow thrum fueled by magic.
I visualize my arrow striking and its torturous dance slowing the cadence of its heartbeat. My fingers tremble at the thought and for the first time I hesitate—I think of her.
A fleeting memory of my mother breaks my focus. My fingers relax, and I release the bowstring. The arrowhead cuts through the dust-infused air, the shaft quivering back and forth as it speeds toward the metallic green dragon in my sight. My pulse kicks up a notch in anticipation of the inevitable Stoker screech when an arrow pierces its heart. A sound that is both glorious and heart-wrenching. The sound of victory. The sound of death.
But it never comes. The arrow misses by a sliver, bouncing off its scales.
Before I reprimand myself how this will look to the General, another arrow strikes the flame-spewing beast, toppling it to the ground in a lump of writhing high-pitched screams. I spot the recruit who won this round, and I’m not surprised when Ryu Clarion stares back.