WATER BURNING is an upper MG fantasy complete at 61,000 words, set in a world of elemental magic. It would appeal to fans of Abi Elphinstone and Garth Nix.
Kay Crossmoar has made it to twelve without incinerating anything too important – like herself and her family. Only her parents know she’s a Firesorc, born with the rarest elemental power. She’s never met anyone like her and has spent her whole life hiding what she is. Apparently all Firesorcs ignite homes for the sheer pleasure of destruction or steal away children who don’t eat their vegetables.
Then one day Kay’s school is burned to the ground. She’s horrified the stories could have a basis in truth: the other Firesorcs are dangerous criminals and torched the school as part of their quest to kill all Watersorcs. Including Kay’s parents.
The Firesorcs are unpredictable and the authorities are chasing leads that go up in smoke. Wanting to protect her family, Kay becomes a spy in the remote Firesorc stronghold, pretending to join their cause to uncover their plans. But as she learns more about what they really desire, she begins to question who the true villains are.
To save her parents’ lives Kay will have to make an alliance – with the very people who appear to wish for her family’s demise.
WATER BURNING is written as a standalone novel with series potential. I’m a biochemistry graduate turned trainee lawyer from the UK.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Kay Crossmoar’s thousandth attempt to learn how to stop accidentally burning things wasn’t going well. Everyone else her age was savouring the melt-in-the-mouth taste of two months of summer holidays stretching before them, while she was sitting alone thumping through a tattered book called Shovels for Sorcs: Digging Holes Without Magic in the vague hope it might mention how to control fire.
Not one of the countless books in the Great Library of Merrybridge, it seemed, could tell her what she wanted to know.
The Airsorc runes etched onto the walls cast a gentle glow over the pool of turquoise water in the centre of the vast, circular Reading Room. Sandstone benches surrounded the pool, and Kay had settled cross-legged on one – she always felt safer by water.
The older, maze-like lower levels of the library where the Reading Room was located were rarely visited. No one had arrived in the three hours Kay had spent flicking through books, which was how she liked it.
Pins-and-needles prickled across Kay’s legs as she got up to put the book away. Wandering to the back of the room, she picked another shelf and slid a thick volume off (Flying for Morons), cracking it open at a random page. A single word jumped out at her: fire. Her heartbeat quickened. The author was discussing the four elements, and the four types of sorcs (Airsorcs, Earthsorcs, Watersorcs and Firesorcs) that controlled them.
“And you’re sure?” Voices echoed around the Reading Room. Kay froze, clutching Flying for Morons.
Peering around the bookshelf she caught sight of a man and woman, dressed in the standard uniform of senior librarians: golden overcoats embroidered with the library coat of arms, two hands cupping a chalice overflowing with books. The man clutched a duster.
“I heard it from Mr. Miginley. His barn was burned down a few weeks ago, and the ruling family hushed it all up,” the woman was saying, her voice soft and musical. “They can’t cover up this one though. Way too big.”
“I can’t believe it. A Firesorc here, in Merrybridge,” said the man.Kay sucked in a breath. Apart from her parents, she’d told no one what she was. Not even her little brother.
Another Firesorc nearby, burning things down.
Someone else like her.