Jun 7, 2018

QK Agent Round: God's Dead, Now What?

Title: Sleight of Spirit
Word Count: 126,000
Entry Nickname: God's Dead, Now What?
Genre: High Fantasy (#OwnVoices)


Selene Areste is a student at the prestigious Arcane Institute and the only priestess of Tenebris (They/Them), the God of Beatified Darkness. Tenebris protects Selene from the tortuous enchantment laid on her when she was a young woman and in return Selene invites others to see that in darkness there is comfort, safety from predators, and respite from judgement.

All worlds have Gods, and all worlds want Gods, or so Selene thinks. But then a fellow student entreats Selene to help his home of Arcadia. There have not been Gods on Arcadia in millennia. Now that world is falling apart, with holes ripping open the fabric of reality and threatening to swallow entire cities. Offered the chance to fix an entire plane and save millions of people from oblivion, Selene agrees to attempt the ritual which will bind Tenebris to Arcadia and revitalize the dying plane.

But Arcadia itself rejects Tenebris and the encounter drives Them insane. Selene finds her once gentle God flaying the souls from any living creature They encounter. Viciously cut off from the God they love so well, Tenebris’ followers die of suicide in droves. Selene must take responsibility for her role in the disaster and determine how to save Tenebris. But as she struggles through the despair of losing her friends, her faith, and her God, Selene learns that Arcadia’s history is longer than she knew, and sometimes, save means kill.

Sleight of Spirit is a high fantasy novel told from multiple viewpoints which will appeal to fans of Magic: The Gathering stories, Diana Wynne Jones' Chrestomanci series, and anime such as Fairy Tail.

First 250:

The official color of the healers of the Arcane Institute was white. According to the head healer, white helped him know who was bleeding. Selene suppressed a smile. In her home country, white was the color of death. The first time she’d been to the hospital she jumped every time a healer came around a corner.

I remember those days. You were so frightened. Tenebris, the God she served, spoke directly to her mind. They were a constant, gentle presence at the back of her neck.

Selene smiled. I was still afraid of the marks. She glanced at the small tattoos on her inner forearm, carved deep to punish her for using dark magic. Now I hardly think about them.

Good. Tenebris said as Selene walked to the hospice area. As it should be.

Around her, magical ether wards shimmered if she looked for them. The wards were active throughout the Institute. They were usually a communication structure, able to alert students to classes, jobs, messages and even locate people if allowed.

In the hospital ward they did all of that, but added health alarms for heartbeats, bleeding, and fever. As she entered the brightly lit hospice, something scented the air with jasmine flowers. That was new and pleasant. Selene suspected she had Animere, the woman she was here to see, to thank. “Animere?” she called, knocking on the private door. “Did you do something to the wards?”

“You smell it?” Animere called back, and the door opened. “That’s great!”

1 comment :

  1. More please! Email chris@kepneragency.com with Query Kombat and the book title in the subject line.