PW #322: Young Adult Chinese-inspired fantasy: A SWORD OF JADE AND FIRE

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Akemi Dawn Bowman

Mentee Name: June Tan


Category: Young Adult

Genre: Chinese-inspired fantasy

Word Count: 106,000 words


Ahn is a thief who wants to save her family. Altan is an exiled prince who wants to avenge the family he lost.

When Ahn’s powers manifest, Altan realizes she’s the weapon he’s been searching for: someone who can steal life. With an army of priests hunting down those with magic, the pair are forced to work together, traveling across desert and sea to rescue her grandmother and prevent a war.



The boy clung tightly to his sister’s hand when they fled the palace, afraid if he let go he might lose her forever. Their home was no longer safe—not with their father dead and the stench of betrayal in the air.

Into the night, they followed their mother through the streets of Beishou and toward the western border, hoping to find refuge in the last place anyone would think to look for them.

The desert.

It was no place for a royal family, but Empress Odgerel prayed to her gods the shifting labyrinth of sand might keep them hidden.

They followed the nomadic trails and slept in a different place each night. Sometimes in tents, sometimes under a blanket of stars. They changed their names, their appearances, the way they spoke.

But eventually, the soldiers came.

And with them, a man clad in a shroud of black smoke and red fury. The man who would not rest until the royal family was dead.

Against the odds, the boy survived.

A passing caravan of nomads found him a few days after a huge sandstorm. Motherless. Sisterless. Dehydrated and feverish, he teetered on the edge of death. Nails torn off completely, dried blood crusted over his fingers.

The nomads asked no questions of this strange boy.

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