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GODS OF THE FALLEN, YA Fantasy - Mikaela Kemsley


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Name: Mikaela Kemsley

Novel: Gods of the Fallen

Genre and Comparables: Gods of the Fallen is a young adult fantasy novel that will appeal to fans of Katy Rose Pool’s There Will Come a Darkness and Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes. 

Hook line: After being abducted and abused by a bloodthirsty theocracy, a young woman escapes into the arctic, where she awakens a newfound, dangerous magic in a tribe of outcasts to defend herself, her best friend, and her people from a genocidal god.  

Pitch: Seventeen-year-old Alora has spent her life within the glass walls of a seminary, aspiring to one goal: to become a Glass Sentinel for the Church of the Fractured Father. When the abused, orphaned young woman discovers that the Church is performing human sacrifices, and that they intend to sacrifice her best friend, Ryas, next, she rescues Ryas and escapes into the arctic.

They fight onto a snow-fueled, steam-driven train, where they meet a misfit tribe of refugees and criminals called the Fallen. Through them, Alora learns that she can wake a shard of divine magic in others. She can only wake it once per person, which comes with dire consequences, and she can never wake it in herself. When a former mentor attacks the Fallen, Alora uncovers her true identity as a god. The Church is massacring her people to restore her to godhood—even if she wants no part in that godhood. 

Alora vows to atone for the deaths on her behalf. Can she awaken the magic in the Fallen to liberate herself, Ryas, and her people from a malevolent theocracy and the bloodthirsty god they serve? She rallies an army behind her, ready to wage a literal war of the gods. 

First five hundred words: 

 

Chapter One 

“Before time, the Fractured Father and Mother Majesta dwelled in the Nothing.”

—The Shattered Verse

“Hail the Fractured Father: sovereign of my body, sovereign of my soul.” I kneel, forehead pressed to the chill, glass floor. Thin strips of burgundy branch through the floor like veins, twisting and curling atop each other as if alive. I inhale the familiar, comforting scents of incense and blubber smoke, of musty books and chalk. “He permeates all earth—”

“It’s too early to kneel like this,” Ryas whisper-groans beside me. 

I start, lifting my head just enough to see Ryas’s dark profile in my peripheral vision. When did he sneak in here? And how long has he been kneeling there without me noticing? 

My gaze sweeps over the other, prostate seminarians, all the way to the front of the room, where light from the stained glass windows stretches in long rectangles over the Fractals’ curved backs. The others seem absorbed in the prayer, caught in the rhythm of it, as if beating out a monotone music. I don’t think anyone noticed Ryas’s late entrance. But Glass Sentinel Valienne already asked about him this morning, and I doubt she believed my lies about oversleeping. “You’re late,” I hiss. 

“Really? I hadn’t noticed.” He groans again, lifting one hand to the small of his back.

“Throwing out your back, old man?” Ryas is nineteen, two years older than me, which gives me license to tease him. After lying for him this morning, I deserve to tease him. 

“I prefer the term ‘mature.’” Ryas’s voice blends softly into the music of the prayer. 

“Mature enough that the Fractals banned you from the kitchens for two days.” 

“Someone had to say something about the hoarfrost they were feeding us!” One of the younger seminarians breaks rhythm to glance at us, his eyebrows raised, and Ryas lowers his voice again. “That dinner looked like poop, Alora. It tasted like poop.” 

“And you know what poop tastes like because…?” Ryas opens his mouth, ready for a rebuttal, but the prayer ends, and the room falls silent. We rise from our kneeled positions. Ryas keeps his eyes on me, a smirk tugging his lips sideways, probably ready to finish our discussion on poop-eating at the next opportunity. 

I stand, rolling back the sleeves on my crimson dress. The oversized skirts engulf my short, slight figure, and though the Fractals say I’ll grow into it, I doubt I actually will. How much do girls grow after seventeen? I readjust my crimson gloves, then glance at my reflection in the glass wall. I pull my chin-lengthed hair inside my standing collar. 

“Looking at yourself, beautiful?” Ryas whispers, covering his comment with the sound of his chair screeching against the glass floor. “Not that I blame you.” I whirl away from the wall to scowl at him. He lifts his eyebrows up and down in what I can only guess is some absurd effort at seduction. 

There’s a collective screeching as the other seminarians take their seats. “It looks like your face is spasming,” I tell Ryas. 

 

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