TITLE: The Demon Prince
GENRE: YA High Fantasy
Ashira wishes for love, excitement, and adventure far from her desert village. When her coming-of-age prophecy states she will “live a life of no renown,” she becomes determined to change it, utilizing a lazy and cynical djinni. Her errant wishes trigger demon outbreaks and darker prophecies. Now, Ashira must contain the magic she unleashed before it destroys her world.
Ashira stared down the dirt road, longing for a glimpse of her future to form in the horizon like a heat vision. Instead of the endless sand of Saban, she would sail oceans. She would bask in the luxury of the northern kingdoms and master the magic there—fight past drakes and any other beast she could imagine with a brave and handsome man at her side. Find the forest fairies and even taste snow.
Camel groans and the stench of sweat reached her first. With her prophecy still days away, Ashira had to settle for dreams and vicarious adventures. She held the skirt of her sari away from her sandals as she moved from the village gate, weaving around the returning caravan. She tried to guess at their last stop, but nothing stood out among the cloth bags and worn baskets until she found Vaslin, the merchant’s daughter.
The girl had a light in her brown eyes that said she had a secret—a secret Ashira would have to spend most of the evening wheedling out of her.
Ashira swallowed past the dust in her throat. “Do you have a letter?”
“Let me think.” Vaslin pushed a stray lock of hair under her veil and sorted through her satchel with agonizing deliberation. “You’re expecting to hear from Isila?”
“Isila, Liaha, Jalila—it doesn’t matter. Do you have a letter or not?”
“Yes, I think . . . Jalila. That’s her mark, isn’t it?” She held a bundle of parchment just out of reach.