Dear Agents,

With the power to navigate the ocean without a compass, Seventeen-year-old Evren isn’t afraid of the roiling waves and whipping storms of the high sea. But when the Sea Queen Rusalka, with her army of water nymphs and sea serpents, threatens to disrupt Evren’s secrets, she agrees to help the handsome Captain Sa’av find the queen’s lair. Only because he offers her safe passage out of the kingdom and a chance to escape the cursed pirates relentlessly hunting her.

However, the kingdom is dying, and the Sea Queen holds the only cure. Faced with the Captain’s love for his kingdom—and the secrets he carries, Evren suddenly finds herself torn.  If she faces off against the feared Sea Queen to help the man she’s growing to love, she’ll lose her last chance to claim the freedom she’s craved her entire life.

THE LOST SAGES is a young adult fantasy novel complete at 93,000 words and would appeal to fans of Tricia Levenseller’s Daughter of the Pirate King and Katherine Arden’s Winternight trilogy. It is a standalone with series potential.

I live in eastern Canada where I am a full-time content writer and English tutor. I studied English Literature at the University of Toronto. In May 2018, I was accepted as M. Dalto and Amber R. Duell’s mentee for the #WriteMentor Mentorship Program. I’ve had a short flash fiction published and I blog actively.

Thank you for your consideration,

Loie Dunn

Twitter: @loiedunn

Chapter One

Something wasn’t right with the sea.

Red-eyed coddlefish hung from Evren’s long silver wire, their bellies abnormally bloated. The fish washed ashore at the edge of Ionoke Island’s best fishing nook that morning had been limp, pallid. Evren swallowed, ignoring the eerie tingling on the back of her neck.

She gazed out at the glittering water surrounding the island. The breeze flurried off the sea like invisible threads, tickling her face. White foam lapped at her boots and Evren leaned down to dip her fingers into the ocean. Warm? Warmer than usual. Wrinkling her nose, she inhaled the tangy salty air. Everything looked fine from the outside.

The fish, however, told a different story: their home was in trouble.

Stepping away from the shore, she made the mistake of glancing at a boiled-face fisherman. She wasn’t one for engaging much with locals. In front of him lay a barrel of salted fish. Black flies buzzed around the contents.

“Oi!” The grey-haired fisherman croaked.  “I’ve heard things about you, the strange one with the sea-green eyes,” he whispered. “The cursed pirates want you.”

Her neck prickled. Whirling on her heel, Evren peered sharply across the beach. The murderous scoundrels—the Naja—were indeed looking for her. The damned pirates wanted her eyes, said they were magical. Enchanted or not, they weren’t gouging them out of her face.

All I need is enough money to fly across the seas and leave this wretched place and the Naja behind.

Swivelling back, she fixed the sailor with an impassive stare. “That’s all talk. I wouldn’t listen to it if I were you.”

She turned away from the fisherman and scrutinised the main drag of Ionoke. Orange papery lanterns hung from the alder trees and thick swirls of smoke decorated the sky from a recent fire trick. A lady humming beneath her breath stepped around Evren without sparing her a glance, balancing baskets of gold, scarlet, and tangerine ribbons. Tonight, they celebrated their Sun Goddess: Amataru.

The shale cobblestone stretched forwards unevenly, rocks jutting out here and there. Evren shook her head, a sigh escaping. The capital’s inhabitants wouldn’t put up with the dismal surroundings. On Ionoke, poverty overshadowed everything, like an imperceptible illness dragging down people’s spirits.

Little ochre and red brick shops dotted either side of the road, roofs dilapidated, shingles peeling off because of the blazing sun. Sweat prickled on her forehead. Owners hollered across the street at each other, bargaining for better prices on dried fruits, leather, and spices.

Ale-stained wind blew past Evren, tugging at the ragged ends of her silk scarf that covered all but her eyes. Why are you hiding your face, love? it seemed to whisper. She exhaled as she caught sight of her only buyer.

Hustling down the road, she dodged a flowergirl, selling delicate persimmon wreaths.

“Olly!” She slammed down her catch on his table soaked with fish guts and blood, wincing as a silver scale dug into her palm.

“There ye are.”