Title: WARRIORS RISING: THE HUNT
Category/Genre: Upper Middle Grade Urban Fantasy (Ownvoices)
Word count: 68,000
Is your antagonist hot or cold?
I find this question insulting. As I am Mao, the powerful mistress of the last known warrior society on Earth, of course my greatness cannot be encompassed by a vague term such as ‘hot’ or ‘cold’. I have, however, been told that my love for my warrior son burns almost as bright as my hatred for those blood traitor brats, and that I have an unmatched ability for keeping cool in adverse situations—except the ones involving those insufferable blood traitors.
In a Chinese warrior society on the outskirts of San Francisco’s chinatown, all thirteen-year-old Faryn Liu wants is to protect her people from demons just as her father once did. Too bad she and her younger brother, Alex, are marked as blood traitors, unworthy of wielding swords because they’re half Chinese. Still, under the watchful eye of their grandfather, the siblings train in secret, hoping to someday prove themselves worthy.
When Faryn sneaks into town to buy medicine for her grandfather, she helps a warrior god save the people from an ancient Chinese demon. Faryn’s bravery activates the magic of a powerful spear, and marks her as a warrior destined for the greatest honor—to guard the ruler of the gods, the Jade Emperor, as a Heavenly General. That is, if she can fulfill a quest to find an island of the immortals before the last day of the Lunar New Year.
Spurred by their grandfather’s dying wishes and hints that their missing father might be on that island, Faryn and Alex set off seeking ultimate honor. As the siblings defeat demons and treacherous gods on the road to glory, they realize their multiracial identity might actually make them the most powerful warriors of all. But the brutality of her god-given power, along with the threat of war between the gods and demons, forces Faryn to question the virtuousness of the gods. Becoming a Heavenly General means fulfilling a multi-generational dream, but at the cost of turning her back on what she knows is right: protecting the people of Earth.
Steeped in Chinese mythology as well as questions of racial identity, WARRIORS RISING: THE HUNT is a 68,000 word standalone Upper Middle Grade Fantasy with series potential, and will appeal to fans of Rick Riordan’s PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS.
First 250 words:
On the eve of the Lunar New Year, the demons invaded.
Golden lions and red dragons danced down the streets. Creatures with the heads of fearsome beasts and the hands and feet of costumed humans. They paraded past squealing children, dancing to the beat of drummers and explosions of firecrackers.
Every corner of San Francisco’s Chinatown lit up with red lanterns hanging from rooftops. Men, women, and children crowded the streets, purchasing dumplings from shouting vendors and exchanging packets of money, hong bao, to ring in the year of the horse.
“Look, sun zi,” said an old woman next to me. She nudged her grandson. “It’s time for the annual parade of the Jade Society warriors.”
My pain-in-the-butt younger brother’s words echoed in my head. Get into town, get our grandfather’s medicine, and get out, Alex had insisted. Yet I couldn’t resist pausing to watch the show. A procession of teenage boys and their fathers, clad in bronze armor from head to foot, marched in two neat rows toward the costumed dragons. Five horses carried riders in the front. Both lines stopped when they met in the middle of the square.
The crowd quieted in the presence of the most powerful men in Chinatown. I mean, these guys were literally on their high horses.
Mr. Wei, the chef who ran the most prosperous restaurant in Chinatown, rode beside his short, trollish-looking son, Yao. Behind Yao was Luhao, a lanky boy with a long, narrow face, permanently fixed in a leer.