Moonburner by Claire Luana
Release Date: June 14, 2016
Publisher: Soul Fire Press
When 17-year old Kai is exposed as a female sorceress—a moonburner, she knows the punishment is death. Despite the odds against her, Kai escapes her fate and undertakes a harrowing journey to a land where moonburners are revered and trained as warriors.
But the moonburner citadel is not the place of refuge and learning that Kai imagined. The ongoing war against the male sorcerers, or sunburners, has led the citadel leadership down a dark path that could spell the end of all magic. Armed with a secret from her past and a handsome but dangerous ally in the sunburner prince, Kai may be the only one able to prevent the destruction of her people.
He stood before the small basin of water, resting on a rickety table on the other side of the cabin and unwrapped their daughter. She was so beautiful. Even red and wrinkled, he could tell she had her mother’s fine hands, delicate but strong. She had his square jawbone. He wondered whether she would be as stubborn as he was in his youth. But he was delaying.
He plunged her into the water and held her there, his own heart hammering in his chest like a wild beast desperate to be set free. He began counting. Ten. She flailed under the water, her tiny limbs no match for his strong calloused hands. Thirty. At sixty, he could let her up. And try to save her. Fifty. Relief and hope began to well in him.
And then a bright white light exploded from his daughter. He stumbled back, throwing an arm over his eyes. She illuminated the cabin, shining silver light into cobwebbed corners and dusty crevices.
After a few seconds, the light died and his daughter was herself again. Tiny, pink, floating on top of the water peacefully. He and Hanae locked eyes. She had turned over and was half sitting up on her cot. The look of helpless horror on her face was mirrored on his own.
“I knew she would be,” Hanae said softly. “A moonburner. And a strong one.”
She started awake when the moon was at its height. She lay very still, listening. She heard movement, the slippery sound of sand shifting down the side of a dune.
Footsteps. Sniffing. An animal. She saw her stick close by and reached for it slowly. The animal was coming closer. Her heart hammered in her throat.
Kai leaped up, brandishing her stick with a shout. She promptly staggered to her knees again as her head rushed with blood and pain. She was so weak and thirsty. She could hardly stand, let alone fight. She looked up wearily at whatever had come to eat her.
Two black eyes like marbles stared back at her from a silvery white face topped with pricked ears. It was a fox! It was as large as a medium-sized dog, much bigger than any fox she had ever seen. It was covered in pure silvery white fur, the kind of fur that called out to be touched. Somehow she didn’t think the fox would appreciate that.
“Well, the battle cry was impressive, but I don’t know what you thought you were going to do with that stick.”
Kai slouched back on her heels, dumbfounded. She had gone mad. They said the desert could do it, and here was the proof. A talking silver fox.
About the Author
Claire Luana grew up in Edmonds, Washington, reading everything she could get her hands on and writing every chance she could get. Eventually, adulthood won out and she turned her writing talents to more scholarly pursuits, graduating from University of Washington School of Law and going to work as a commercial litigation attorney at a mid-sized law firm.
While continuing to practice law, Claire decided to return to her roots and try her hand once again at creative writing.
Her first novel, Moonburner, will be published in 2016 with Soul Fire Press, an imprint of Christopher Matthews Publishing. She is currently working on the sequel, Sunburner. In her (little) remaining spare time, she loves to hike, travel, run, play with her two dogs, and of course, fall into a good book.
Check her out on Facebook.
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