PW #359: Young Adult High Fantasy: THE HUNGERING DARK

Manuscript Status: 1 Month Delivery

Mentor Name: K. Kazul Wolf

Mentee Name: Laura Seabaugh


Category: Young Adult

Genre: High Fantasy

Word Count: 90,000


Malary Cynerius is no stranger to the dark. As heir to her clan’s power, she must complete a murderous initiation to awaken the darkness within–but the power isn’t limitless, it’s bottomless, consuming her from the inside out. She escapes her prison of a home, but to protect herself in the outside world, she must control her life-stealing touch or lose herself to the hungering dark.


The smell of decay clung to the walls of the cellar, a residual gloom infecting everything it touched. Death, sharp and sweet, didn’t get any easier to take in, no matter how many nights Malary spent in its midst. Her clothes and hair would reek of it long after her work was done. Best not to dwell on it.

Or breathe.

The kill hung intact, except for the eyes, now black and hollow voids. She turned her knife in her hand, loath to ruin the perfect hide and stain the clean fur. Creatures from the outside world had no reason to be here, on the inside, where the shadows had breath and the darkness, a voice.

They had stolen its life. A beast this size should have been the kill of a worthy predator, not the victim of unnatural hunters. Still she dug in, piercing through skin and muscle until she hit bone, and dragged down on the blade until all the inner workings of a living thing opened before her.

The carcass drained into a bucket in steady taps, ticking time as she worked. The tangled entrails never came out neatly. Carving out the heart gave her the most trouble, but she had to finish her work before the horrors of her own life bled to the surface.

Before they became real.


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