This is the teaser chapter for my latest novel in development, Thick as Thieves. It’s a YA fantasy novel with a combination of magic, romance and action leaning heavily towards a dark academic/romantic aesthetic focusing on the lives of Darcy and Sen, two orphaned sisters living in the outskirts of a city who are discovered to have magic. In this world, magic was once common but for reasons unknown, it almost died out four hundred years ago. Now, anyone identified as being able to control it is brought to the palace compound and trained to wield their powers.
Follow Darcy and Sen as they are ripped from their home in the once bombed husk of a hospital in Ring Nine and are brought to their new home in the compound where they must learn to control their magic and succeed in their treacherous and at times dangerous new home.
My name is Darcy and I am a thief. I lived alone with my little sister, Sen, in the burnt-out house that used to be a hospital over on Flint Street. It’s empty now. It was empty by the time we got there. Scavengers picked it clean long before we reached it. It was just the two of us ever since our mom died. It was that wailing cough, that’s what got her in the end. Like most of the people in our ring of the city. It got our dad too back when Sen was just a baby and I was too young to remember. We couldn’t go to a healer or a doctor or a magician, like those in the inner Rings. We couldn’t afford it.
“My sister!” The words ripped their way out of my mouth as I struggle desperately against the guards trying to drag us apart. “She can do magic too!”
It was a lie and Sen’s eyes widened slightly in fear. Panic ripped through me as the main guard climbed slowly down from his horse, his eyes narrowed on Sen who cowered behind me. I couldn’t let them take me and not her. She wouldn’t be able to live out here alone, they’d rip her apart.
I could feel Sen trembling behind me as the guard walked towards us in measured steps.
“Is that true?” He asked, leaning down so his face was level with hers and staring into her eyes.
He asked it like it was a question but his tone demanded an answer.
She didn’t answer until I pinched her arm as subtly as I could.
“Yes.” Her voice was small but her chin jutted up at him.
I stared determinedly at the guard who watched me with appraising eyes.
“Fine. You may both come.”
“Thief?” A hand tapped me gently on the shoulder and I knew who it was without even having to look.
I turned, repressing the urge to gasp. I’d never seen him like this before. He was wearing a suit and robes and his hair was carefully curled and pushed back from his face but his eyes still gleamed at me mischievously.
“Yes, murderer?” I raised an eyebrow at him, trying to ignore my fluttering heart.
His lips quirked in a grin.
“May I have this dance?”
I smirked and took his outstretched hand, letting him lead me onto the floor.
“Can you even dance in that thing?” He asked, his eyes grazing my dress.
He smiled even wider. “You look beautiful.”
I smiled back, feeling my cheeks heat slightly. “So do you.”
We stopped in the middle of the floor, surrounded by other couples who were standing close together and preparing to start dancing.
The music swelled as the orchestra signalled which song they would be playing.
“Do you remember this dance?” He asked, a hint of anxiety visible in his eyes.
“Not at all.”
We grinned at each other.
“Well, then. I guess we’ll just have to put on a show. Is your dress fireproof?”
I knew exactly what he was thinking. “Do you think I’d wear anything else?”
Please note, this book will not be updated anywhere near as frequently as my other book, For Irision, as I haven’t finished writing it yet so don’t expect anything more than a single chapter a month if we’re lucky. I hope you enjoy this new world I’m crafting!