PW #358: Young Adult Fantasy: BEYOND UNCHARTED SKIES

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Sarah Nicolas

Mentee Name: Alison Brown


Category: Young Adult

Genre: Fantasy

Word Count: 79,000



With the help of her miniature dragon, Karina – aviator and smuggler – races infamous gangs across a war-torn world to an enchanted map that could return her to her world… or destroy this one.


The night air whistled in my ears as I began our descent. Wisps of charcoal cloud brushed the wings and nose of my Hawkmoth biplane. I hunched my shoulders against the chill, sheepskin collar brushing my jaw. Assenia glittered like a constellation below; a thriving sand-covered tangle of domes, courtyards, and palms surrounded by the endless desert.

“Home at last.” Kota did not like flying. The miniature sea dragon slithered around my neck from the makeshift hold, which, until an hour ago, had been full of liquor, smokes, and chocolate I’d smuggled to the soldiers at the front. For a tidy sum, of course.

“We’ve been gone three days,” I said, rolling my eyes.

I couldn’t share his anticipation. I’d lived in Assenia two years, but it wasn’t home. Home waited a world away.


“Control tower to Hawkmoth.” The bored voice came through crackly on the radio. “Please give identification.”

I pulled the pilot’s license from my pocket. The license I’d paid a forger an extortionate amount for. My eyes skimmed over the photograph. My lips bright with colour, dark blonde hair waved and pinned up. I recited the credentials below and waited.

And waited.

I circled the city, the drum of my heartbeat and the engine’s roar deafening over the radio’s silence.

The fuel gauge ticked further into red.

“Control tower to Hawkmoth.” The bored tone had gone. He sounded tense. “There seems to be a problem with your identification.”


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