Title: Shattering Dust
Word Count: 80,000
Genre: YA Fantasy
Four centuries after Avalon vanquished her king and was murdered, a group of ambitious magicians brings her back to life. What she’s done before, they insist she do again: bring down the ruling king. The only problem is Avalon can’t remember her past, her victory, or the boy who betrayed her in the aftermath.
When the magicians whisper into Avalon’s ear, their words clash with the chilling nightmares and hallucinations that torment her. With each passing day, she struggles to conceal her mental breakdown and uphold the image of a savior.
Yet the magicians have their own secrets with lies beyond Avalon’s past life and death. As she digs deeper, insanity starts to look a lot better than truth. While she may have killed a tyrant king, Avalon wasn’t a savior.
As unrest escalates, Avalon’s visions of slit throats and a long dead sister seem to transcend madness. They’re warning her about something. Her only hope is to discover the truth before the magicians decide her death accomplishes more than her life.
Funeral markings covered my hands like lace gloves. The thin, curling lines of soot marked me for the gods. Yet if the shaman knew the truth, he would have skipped the gods and sent me straight to damnation. I would still end up there. It would just take longer.
Incomprehensible voices bloomed into existence. They rushed inside like air through a cracked window: chilling, uninvited, and unwelcome. They were coming for me, and they would pluck each secret away.
A distant thump caused the voices to grow into a frantic flurry of stilted sounds and exclamations.
Thousands of stinging needles mistook my heart for a pin cushion. Heat rushed through my fingers, down my legs, and up to my forehead. I gasped, and underneath the ashen symbols, a pulse burst into life.
“Please,” I whispered. The word weighed nothing.
I tried to focus on the speaker, everything weaving and blurring until finally becoming clear. Around me stood a group of figures clad in furry robes. Their shadows twisted on the walls, pinned under flickering candlelight. My fingers clenched against the ground, which was actually a wooden table.
“I’m sorry.” Scratchy. Soft. I could hardly hear my own voice. My throat felt sore and dry. I tried to remember why I was pleading, what I was sorry for. Something terrible and important and deadly. Except my head was a cave, empty with shadowy echoes. I froze, paralyzed.
“We have you now,” the first man said. The circle of bodies constricted like a prison cell.
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