Death has always been near Ilia. So much that seven years ago her family sent her to study at a remote tower. Now she's learned to shield against the images of death she's bombarded when around people, and is starting down a new path only to have her brother throw her plans awry. He arrives, asking her to use her ability to see how people die to track a bloodmage who has kidnapped his finance. Even knowing this may put her own plans on indefinite hold Ilia agrees. Family, even family she's only head from once a year, means everything to her.
At her first touch of a dead body Ilia realizes the killer has sundered fate, leaving those meant to die alive and killing many before their time. With fate off kilter, Ilia knows there's more at stake than finding the woman, someone needs to stop the madman. She appeals directly to the death god for help. He gives her aid and tasks her with bringing the villain to justice. But when her brother lives past his time, Ilia's unsure if she can bring herself to end the mage's life if it means he will die too.
The Death God's Apprentice is a fantasy novel complete at 93K (note to critiquers, doing one last round of beta revisions so this number will likely change!). The story is likely to appeal to readers of Tamora Pierce, Sharon Shinn and Sherwood Smith.
Help! Writing a query is (yet another) area where I can see so well in other people's work what needs fixing, but when it comes to my own I'm blind. So any comments or suggestions are greatly appreciated!
Death has always been near Ilia. From the time she was young she could tell from a touch if a person was close to the time fate decreed they would die. Sent away at fifteen when her gift soared to the point she didn't need contact to see oncoming deaths, Ilia's spent the last seven years with the Sisters of the Dancing Wind learning to shield herself and studying the history of death rituals. With only annual contact from her family, she's taken the steps to dedicate herself to the sisterhood, only to have her plans go awry one winter night when her brother arrives asking for her help tracking a murderer.
As she pursues the bloodmage who is killing women, she discovers the gods, too, are interested in the magic user and the power he is building up. Ilia's gift makes her realize the mage has sundered fate, leaving those meant to die alive and killing many before their time. When the death god tasks her with bringing the villain to justice and restoring fate to its path, she's torn between wanting to stop the killing and not wanting to be a pawn of the gods. The gods have their own plans and Ilia finds herself fighting for her own life and destiny, one which she'll have control over, not the deities.
The Death God's Apprentice is a fantasy story complete at 93K (note to critiquers, doing one last round of beta revisions so this number will likely change!). In the tradition of fantasy stories by Tamora Pierce, Sharon Shinn and Sherwood Smith there is strong crossover potential to the emerging New Adult market.