Please consider THE SPIRIT THIEF, an 84,000 word #ownvoices Young Adult fantasy with Lebanese-Arab themes. This novel will appeal to fans of Tochi Onyebuchi’s Beasts Made of Night and Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes.
Sixteen-year-old Musa has trained his entire life to become a Hunter, only to be rejected when he refuses to kill his clan’s ancestral animal―a rabbit. Though he never finishes the trial, he miraculously manifests the abilities of a Hunter: heightened senses, agility, and wit. Yet instead of accepting his newfound abilities, the clans of the Dai’a shun him. Devastated, he vows to prove his worth―somehow.
Two months later, after years of peace, invaders pillagethe Dai’a. They nearly capture Musa when his older brother, Aram, saves his life. Aram chases the invaders into the forest, but fails to return and is assumed to be dead. This makes Musa the last surviving heir to his clan and, despite his tarnished reputation, it earns him a chance to regain the trust of the villagers as a leader. Only, he still senses the spirit bond he shares with Aram, and that can mean onlyone thing—his brother, somewhere, is alive.
Now, he must choose between leading his clan or giving up everything he knows to find his brother. If he stays, the villagers will never acknowledge him as a Hunter, despite his elevated position. Yet beyond the forest lies a far larger threat. The samemerciless invaders who sacked the Dai’agrow in power each day, capturingand enslavingtheirvictims. To save his older brother means facing this danger head on.But before he can do anything, Musamust first tame the animal spirit within.
I am a 2017 graduate of Clark University with a passion for the Arabic language as well as my Lebanese heritage, which serves as the inspiration for my novels.
Thank you for your time and consideration!
The Spirit Thief – First 500
“Come on, Shaddo, all the villagers are waiting for me!”
Musa ducked under branches and chased his pet rabbit into the Great Cedar. Shaddo didn’t care that a near-endless forest lay ahead. She leapt from one patch of grass to the next, leading Musa farther away from the Dai’a. Meanwhile, the other sixteen-year-olds stood with their clans, praying and planning, anything to mentally prepare for the Hunter Trial to come.
“Spirits, brother. Come and let me get these colors on you!”
Musa straightened at the sound of Aram’s voice. His brother, one of the Dai’a’s finest Hunters, stood at the edge of the Eastern Gate. Musa twisted and saw that parents, siblings, and mentors were slathering the other participants in a brown dye. One of them, Drew bin Kalib of the Dog Clan, appeared to be shaking. Musa grinned at the boy, one of his oldest friends, and Drew returned an uneven smile.
Not even a few paces away, Saira bint Dib shrugged off the help of her father. She towered over other Hunters like much of her Bear Clan family. If she was nervous, Musa certainly couldn’t tell.
He turned to Shaddo, but his rabbit was gone. “Curse my luck!” he said, stepping further into the forest, despite his brother’s commands to return.
Non-Hunters weren’t to enter the forest, but Musa could almost sense Shaddo, finding where she’d hopped in a matter of seconds. She chewed on fallen leaves and he picked her up, rushing back to Aram. Ahead of him, the Dai’a loomed behind the gate, a massive clearing enclosed by a thick wooden fence. It was home to all villagers, even those from the lesser clans like his own. And he’d never ventured this far away from it in his life.
Today, that would change.
Aram began to spread brown dye made of egg shells from Musa’s torso down to his feet. Thecolor was symbolicof returning to the earth. Upon completingthe trials, he would shed the brown coatand emerge as one reborn, a protector and provider for the Dai’a―a Hunter.
“Go now,” said Aram, observing his work. “May the spirits guide you.”
Musa began forward, but stopped to meet his brother’s eyes once more. “Let the spirits tend to other matters,” he said. “We trained for this, and I don’t need their help.”
Aram shook his head, holding Shaddo in his arms. “Regardless, Mama and Baba would be proud.”
Musa’s heart skipped a beat. His completing the Trial had been adreamof Mama and Baba’s, and the mention of them forced him to blink away tears.
With Shaddo and Aram both watching eagerly, he joined Drew, Saira, and the others. They stood side by side, stretching, readying for the signal to begin. The rest of the villagers appeared to be waiting too, at least those few hundred who’d gathered by the gate.
“Ready yourselves!” said one of the Dai’a elders.
With the buzz of excitement in Musa’s head, the voice sounded like a distant whisper. He closed his eyes, sharpening his mind and tightening his body in anticipation.