PW #320: Young Adult Dark Fantasy: OUR SHATTERED MASKS

Manuscript status: Finished

Mentor: Rebecca Schaeffer

Mentee: Ellie Luken


Genre: Dark Fantasy

Wordcount: 77,000 words


CARAVAL meets THE CURSE WORKERS: Illusionist and con artist Lucia plans a never-before-completed heist –stealing the source of magic from the island of Estaralla. If she succeeds, she’ll be free of her debt to the Silverhands gang. But stealing the source won’t be the hard part. Surviving the murderous island will.


The way Master Naevian’s brow crinkles says he’s already judged me and found me guilty. Still, I can’t believe, won’t believe I’ve lost until he tells me so himself.

“Good afternoon, Master Naevian.” I bob a small curtsy. Rosana Jandar, which is who I am today, is shy and awkward, so I wobble a little and flash half a smile.

He doesn’t return the smile. The stone walls behind him sweat small trickles of water, and the only sound between us is their steady drip.

Yes, it seems today might be final day of being Rosana Jandar. I can’t say I’m sorry to see her go. It’s been a good run, over a year, and she’s been terribly dull, really, with her awkward bumpkin charm and sincerity.

But this final farewell between my latest identity and whatever shopkeeper I’ve been lying to this time is the most dangerous part of the scam. I need to know who, if anyone, he’s tried to report my illegal sales to.

He’s lined up the last set of pretend Merine luck talismans I sold to him on his scratched counter beside a rusty, dented safe.

“Miss Jandar.” His fingers dance over the line of my jewelry, like he plays a song over them. Outside, they’d glitter, but here, they’re dull as everything else in his dank shop, located a few steps below the street level. “I’m glad to see you.” The thin set of his mouth rather says otherwise.

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