PW #360: Young Adult Middle Eastern Fantasy: KINGS OF SAND AND STARLIGHT

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentors Names: Mónica Bustamante Wagner and Kerbie Addis

Mentee Name: Sylvia Pamuk


Category: Young Adult

Genre: Middle Eastern Fantasy

Word Count: 101,000


Falling in love with the young sultan was the last thing Soukaina expected when she agreed to be his sorcery tutor.

But when the sultan is kidnapped by jinn, only Soukaina—a Veil-walker who can traverse the worlds of jinn—can rescue him.

If she can follow his kidnappers into a bloody war among jinn princes.

If she can conquer her deepest fears before it’s too late.

If falling in love with him was not a mistake.




In Kairouan, there is coffee for guests, coffee for war, and coffee for marriage.

For centuries, coffee ceremonies have followed strict rules of etiquette. Every step, from how it is prepared to how it is served, is a measured ritual. Coffee spiced with cardamom is poured from slender copper pots as treaties and betrothals are brokered over low, engraved brass tables. Every step is laden with meaning. Imbued with tradition.

None of these steps involve flipping the table.

Which is precisely what I did.

Ceramic cups flew through the air, spilling their scalding contents in arcs before shattering on the tiled floor. In the ensuing chaos, as Mother rushed to help her shrieking guests, I turned on my heel and stormed away.

“Soukaina!” Mother cried.

I ignored her, anger buzzing in my skull.

I had prepared myself for many things as I rode to Kairouan from Alamut, my home in the eastern mountains. It is urgent, Mother wrote. Worry spun webs of nightmares each night on the road. I feared relatives on deathbeds. Natural disasters.

I was not prepared for coffee.


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