Ajay Kumar – YA Fantasy – THE ABOMINATION
When sixteen-year-old Septima was born, the gods came down from the heavens, gathered around her cradle, and condemned her to death. Her parents obliged, leaving her on the beach for three days and three nights. Only she did not die.
Bound to an ethereal serpentine daemon, Septima has spent her entire life locked in her bedroom. Her sisters mock her daily, and even her family’s servants would rather see her dead. Septima wants nothing more than to gain enough power to ensure she will never be mistreated again—a distant dream until a necromancer arrives at her home to buy her.
Valerian, the commander of an elite military unit that serves the demigoddess Tyrant, tells Septima her daemon is not a curse, but a gift. She is a conjurer, one of the few able to bind and control daemons, and with proper training she could become powerful enough to crush anyone in her path.
During her grueling training, Septima forges friendships with the other students, budding romances, and a strong parental bond with Valerian. But when she discovers Valerian’s treasonous plot to seize the Tyrant’s throne, Septima will have to manifest her spectral daemon into physical reality, or the coming clash could destroy her and everyone she’s come to care for.
THE ABOMINATION is a standalone young adult fantasy novel with series potential, complete at 100,000 words. It features a bisexual main character in a diverse, multicultural setting rooted in Greek and Roman mythology. Its dark tone and the female-dominated cast will appeal to fans of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir, RED SISTER by Mark Lawrence, and THE YOUNG ELITES by Marie Lu.
I’m a journalist writing for PC Magazine with six years of experience in the media industry and an alumnus of #WriteMentor, a mentorship program which pairs writers with published authors.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
When I was born, the gods descended from the heavens, gathered around my cradle, and said, “Kill her.”
My parents obliged.
They left me exposed on the beach for three days and three nights.
They came back, expecting to find an emaciated corpse or nothing at all. Instead, they found me plump and giggling, with a daemon floating above my head.
I named him Charon.
The first light of dawn blazes through the crisscrossed metal bars of my bedroom window, burning away the last shade of night. As the first prickling of sunlight warms my skin, I fumble from my bed and stagger toward the window, hissing at the coldness of the marble tile against my bare feet.
For the thousandth time, I wish I was allowed a fire, or even a candle. But gods forbid I burn down the mansion. As far as my parents are concerned, I’d murder the entire family in their beds if given half a chance. But they’re wrong.
I’d spare my sisters.
Reaching the window, I clamber up onto the divan and peer through the black iron bars keeping me from freedom. Pausing, I turn my head to watch Charon floating coiled above my rumpled bed. With his head tucked away, the daemon looks like a twisted bundle of armored scales and spikes hovering in the air. A pair of obsidian horns protrude from his hidden head, rising and falling with every rumbling breath. In sleep his scales pulse bands of red that brighten and dim, as though in sync with something intangible.
“Sweetling,” I say. “It’s morning, would you like to watch the ships sail into the harbor with me?” No response from Charon, though from somewhere among the twisted collection of muscular coils, a pink forked tongue flickers in and out.
Leaving him to his dreams, I brush the tangled mess of black hair from my eyes and turn back to the window. Squinting against the glare, I press my nose up against the cold metal bars and watch the sun’s light illuminate the hundreds of serpentine daemons floating above the harbor.
They scatter across the sky, hanging there like bloated whales, fat from all the sin and suffering they’ve fed on. Each of them is large as the merchant ships docking below and the rising sun casts them into ghastly translucence, revealing pulsing internal organs, veins pumping golden blood thick as honey, and the vast gelatinous orb of their eyes.
Morning is the only time the view is good enough to see the entire harbor. The only time I can pretend I’m someone else. I push my face into the gap between the bars. The hard metal presses hard against my skull. But I ignore the pain, pushing until the bars no longer obscures my view and the entire world unfolds in front of me.