Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 82,000
Most people remember their first crush, first kiss, and first day of
school. Kymera remembers none of that.
But she will never forget her first breath.
When Father recreates her from the parts of her broken body, the wings
of a raven, the tail of serpent, and a cat’s razor-sharp vision, he
gives her life without memories or pain.
But not without a mission.
Kymera knows who murdered her. A wizard in the city of Bryre who is
sacrificing the girls of the countryside one by one. He is monstrous
and now Father has created a monster to stop him.
Kymera sneaks into Bryre each night, rescuing the captive girls and
doing her best to avoid the city’s human inhabitants. Then one night
she meets Ren, the king’s page boy, and her resolve weakens. Her
nightly missions take on a dual purpose—save the other girls and steal
a few moments with the boy who has yet to see her without her cloak.
As she lingers each night, Kymera begins to overhear things: a snide
remark about Father, rumors of a hideous beast, and whisperings of a
black market dealing solely in live, human goods. Ever since that
first breath, she’s known exactly who she is, but now she’s forced to
ask who is the real monster here—the wizard, her father, or worse,
I will never forget my first breath. Gasping. Heaving. Delicious.
When I opened my eyes, the colors of the world swarmed me, filling up
all space with hues and objects for which I had no name.
Three seconds later, I passed out from sensory overload, or at least
that is what Father says. He fixed me up and when I woke the second
time, the world became a more comprehensible place. The object
hovering over me was a face, the circles within it were eyes, and the
warm, wet drips leaking from them were tears.
The crease across the bottom that widened under my gaze was a smile.
“You’re alive,” Father said.
Even now, hours later, he mutters it still.
I lean back against the willow and hold out my arms, studying them
under the waning sunlight. The thin red lines marking the sections of
my body have faded to nearly nothing. All that remains are the many
shades of my flesh and the tiny metal bolts fastening tail to spine,
joint to wing, and neck to shoulder.
Father, his silver hair flapping in the summer breeze, lays out logs
and strange metal pipes in the field. They will be used for my
training. He has not told me what I am training for, only that he will
when I am ready. He waves when he notices me watching.
I am sure I will be ready soon. Father is astonished at my progress.
Yesterday, I mastered walking within one hour, running in two, and now
I can even jump to the lowest branch of the willow with ease.