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PW #340: Young Adult Central Asian Historical Fantasy: THE MAGICAL CONSTANT OF RICE

Thursday, 2 November 2017  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Rhiannon Hart

Mentee Name: Lorraine Goddard


Category: Young Adult

Genre: Central Asian Historical Fantasy

Word Count: 87,000



Sixteen-year-old Stana could be one of the greatest magicians on the medieval Silk Road if only she could tame her own magic. When an accidental sandstorm lands her in the lair of a centuries-old djinni, Stana must apply all her talent and cunning to rescue the cruel djinni’s victims and find her way back home.


When Stana was six years old, Madame Qi bought her at the great marketplace in Samarkand for five silver coins.

“I will either make you into a powerful sorceress or an excellent maid,” Stana’s new mistress said, examining her purchase. “I like the look of you, even if you are as skinny as a needle. You may call me ‘Madame.’”

Stana flinched back against the outside of the camel-hair tent. “Yes, Madame.” She could hardly force the whisper through her dry throat.

The old lady spoke Stana’s language, but her tongue twisted familiar words into strange shapes. Golden birds and scarlet dragons swirled across her silk robe. After two owners, Stana had seen enough of the world to know what the lady was: rich, Chinese—and a magician. Behind her back, Stana tried to make a sign against evil magic, as the older caravan girls had taught her, but her fingers were shaking too hard to form the right shape.

Madame pulled a dagger from her embroidered sleeve.

Stana slid sideways, away from the glinting knife, but the slave-trader stood in the door of the tent, eyes watchful, rough hands ready to compel obedience. The lady grasped Stana’s chin with smooth fingers, and Stana’s whole body shuddered as the cool blade slid between her leather slave collar and her throat. She squeezed her eyes shut. A hot tear leaked out.

Hold still. Hold still.


Filed: PW Entries

  • Rena Rossner says:

    Wow! I love this voice! I would absolutely love to read this! Please send the full manuscript attached as a word document to: rena@thedeborahharrisagency.com

    – Rena

  • Aimee Ashcraft says:

    Really enjoyed this pitch and would love to read more. Could you send the full manuscript in Word format to aimee@browerliterary.com, with #pitchwars in the subject line? Thanks so much!

  • I was super intrigued by your pitch and sample and definitely want to read more of this!! Please send me your query and first 100 pages, with the subject “PITCHWARS REQUEST,” to carrie(at)prospectagency(dot)com. Thank you and excited to see more!

  • Thao Le says:

    I would love to see more of this! Please send query, bio, and first 15 pages to thao@dijkstraagency.com, using the subject line: Pitch Wars Req – THE MAGICAL CONSTANT OF RICE.

  • Quressa Robinson says:

    Sounds right up my alley! I’d love to see more! I may not be the only agent here at Nelson Literary Agency who wants to read your amazing work! So, please send just one email to query@nelsonagency.com with PITCH WARS UPLOAD in the subject line. We will reply with our upload instructions, and then all the interested NLA agents will read and consider your manuscript. Thank you!”

  • Josh Adams says:

    I’d love to read more. Please send the full manuscript, along with your query, to josh@adamsliterary.com under the subject line: Pitch Wars / The Magical Constant of Rice. Looking forward to it!

  • Roseanne Wells says:

    I’d love to read more! Please use the guidelines on jdlit.com to send 30pp (instead of the normal 20), and include #Pitchwars in the subject line. I can’t wait to dive in!

    Roseanne Wells
    The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

  • Pam Victorio says:

    If this is #OwnVoices please send a ‘query’ through my Query Manager and I’ll request the full through the system. http://QueryMe.Online/QueryPam

  • MUST HAVE!!! I’m a HUGE fan of The Wizard of Oz retellings, but I especially love your twist on the story. Great entry!

    Please send the full manuscript to Lynnette@theseymouragency.com, attached as a Word document with the query as the first page. Put “Pitch Wars” and your title in the subject line. Please also include a brief synopsis as a separate document. Thanks! Can’t wait to read!

    Lynnette Novak
    The Seymour Agency

  • Laura Zats says:

    I’m so excited to read this! Please send the whole MS in a Word doc to laura@redsofaliterary.com. Please include a query in the body of the email and mention Pitch Wars in the subject line!

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