Oct 30, 2017

NoQS Agent Round: Rumi and the Cats of Istanbul

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Word Count: 59,000

My MC and MA (main antagonist) are dressed as:

Rumi, a magical kitten, mocking his fear of foxes, dresses himself as a tiny red fox. With the mask limiting his vision, he prances right under the shadow of his hunter. Roshan Patel, a man known as the Fox Master, stands over him wearing an elegant fox-orange kurta and a toothy fox mask. Neither can see the other, but both sense the thrum of nearby magic.


Torn from his littermates by a trap, kitten Rumi gains a new family in twelve-year-old Mira and her little brother, Kabir. Family means everything to Rumi, especially these two. So when the new rug they give him transforms into a flying carpet and whisks him to Istanbul, he’s desperate to find his way back.

Lost in the city, Rumi is tracked by two street-smart Istanbul cats. They reveal he’s one of the Flyers, magical cats who travel the world fostering the dreams of children in war-torn areas. These visions inspire the kids to help their communities recover rather than continue the cycle of violence. Homesick Rumi wants his old life back, where the 1001 Arabian Nights is a cozy book Mira reads to him, not a historical guide to a hidden, mystical world.

But Flyer magic has rules. Now claimed by the flying carpet, Rumi can never return home. To make matters worse, he and his new friends are hunted by the vengeful Fox Master, a human aligned with foxes. He kills Flyers to steal their dream magic and increase his power.
Rumi embarks on his first mission with the last two Flyers. While granting dreams to Syrian refugee children, Rumi realizes all children are as precious as his Mira and Kabir and embraces the Flyer mission. The Fox Master tracks them down at the refugee camp and captures Rumi’s friends. The once-reluctant Flyer mysteriously finds himself back with Mira and Kabir. Now he must make a choice—remain with his beloved family, or rescue his Flyer friends and save the world’s dreams.

First 250:


Aman snapped his gaze up from his loom. His internal magic buzzed a dire warning that his brother drew closer. He removed his glasses, pinched the bridge of his nose, and focused on the droning magic.

A familiar dark, seething rumble radiated from just beyond the old city walls of Istanbul. His brother, the Fox Master, would arrive within the hour.

Aman wiped his sweaty palms against his pants and resumed his craft. His fingers flew across the loom, weaving what might be his last flying carpet. “One more cat. Let me save one more Flyer.”

Generations of Flyers had assisted children in war zones. Kept their hopes and dreams alive. Their humanity. What would become of his beloved Flyers if he no longer lived to weave carpets for them?

A surge of clangorous magic made Aman wince. Time had run out.

“My brother has entered Istanbul. Get the kittens and supplies out of here.” He addressed the two cats perched on the windowsill.

The calico scrunched her lip, sniffed the air, and then dashed toward the nursery. Her exit fluttered the flames of the candles that had kept Aman company during the long night of weaving.

The other cat, a huge brown and black striped tomcat, thumped his tail against the windowsill. “I won’t desert you, Dream Weaver.”

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