Manuscript Status: Finished
Mentor Name: N.K. Traver
Mentee Name: Bethany Hensel
Title: THE IMPOSTOR
Category: Young Adult
Genre: #ownvoices Fantasy
Word Count: 100,000 words
Carys Vaeta. Queen, ruler, Luminary—and dying of a rare disease.
Leo Vallerin. Refugee, ragamuffin, conman—and desperate to get home.
With Carys’s only cure dependent on finding her biological family, she offers riches beyond imagining for information, setting Leo up for his greatest con yet. Failure isn’t an option for either. But as secrets unravel, they’ll have to choose: loyalty or riches, lies or truth. Freedom or love.
My mother always told me: The worst truth is better than the best lie.
She said that thoughts have power, and to be careful with what I put out in the universe because it would always come back to me. She said that though life changes—in ways both big and small, quiet and deafening—I should not ever be afraid, because I’m strong enough to weather those changes. And she promised, just moments after I kissed my sweet Covo goodbye and he left my world forever, that the pain would stop, even though it felt impossible, and that my heart really was still beating, just differently now, tender in ways it had never been before.
Lastly, she whispered in my ear that one day, when I had children of my own, I would tell them all this too.
Her words are constantly with me, especially as I hurry down the wide stone path to Diamond House. The midnight chill seeps through my cloak and nestles in my bones, making me tremble. Or perhaps it’s not the chill at fault. Marin’s note is in my pocket, folded neatly, as if the bends in the paper could halve, then quarter, then cut his single sentence into pieces, so it’s like it never existed at all.
I’ve nothing to be afraid of.
I am strong enough for anything he has to tell me.