Sunday, February 10, 2013

Bouncer Post #147

Genre: YA Steampunk Fantasy
Word Count: 69,000


Seventeen-year-old Idonea must turn against her mother or see an entire witch community destroyed. Including her father.

All Idonea cares about is pleasing her mother and advancing her dark magic. But when Idonea’s mother disappears, a sigil outside their house indicates that her mother was kidnapped by a daemon and Idonea sets off to find her.

A day after her arrival in the Empire, Idonea faces having her powers sealed since using unsanctioned dark magic there results in imprisonment. Her only option is to find refuge in her father’s remote community. He hopes to convert her to the light path, until the daemon tracking Idonea murders a young witch, and everyone thinks Idonea did it. With her staff snapped to lessen her powers, she grows desperate to find her mother and stop the daemon.

The search leads Idonea to suspect her mother may have gone beyond any sense of right and wrong. After Idonea’s botched attempt to stop the daemon, her father lies dying from poison and Idonea must reach into the darkest magic, the type that will corrupt the soul, to save him. With time running short, Idonea enters the daemon planes to find the help she needs. For if her mother has truly gone mad, Idonea will be the last defence for her dying father and fellow witches.

DARKWEAVE is reminiscent of Marianne de Pierre's Burn Bright with a search for a family member while delving deep into a world of secrets.

First 250:

The ivy-twined iron gates stood closed again tonight. Though I’d come to this cemetery for the past year, its Guardian still demanded my respect. I knocked three times on the gate, acknowledging his presence and mentally greeted him. In his response he finally used my name: Idonea.

The gates protested as I pushed them open. Rust flaked away when my hands retracted. As I passed the threshold I dropped three silver scales on the ground for payment. I faced forward so the Guardian knew my intentions weren’t sinister tonight. All I needed was grave dirt. I thought our stocks plenty, but my mother Nellith insisted.

Light from the crescent moon and stars filtered down through the thin layers of steam blanketing the town and the numerous pine trees. The scent of pine mixed in with the heavy air, and I wiped a thin film of mist from my goggles.

By nature’s light I stepped my way carefully past the headstones. Giving more than a cursory glance at any particular epitaph would only invited unwanted attention. I stopped at an old grave with a large winged messenger statue, mildew discolouring the white stone. Down on my knees, I pulled a small glass jar and hand shovel from my canvas bag.

I knocked three times on the exact spot I wanted to shovel and stated my intention. “I’m collecting this dirt for any future magical workings that call upon the virtues of the cemetery.”


  1. I love how visceral your first 250 are. I'm right there in the graveyard with her, and when it ends I'm dying to know what they need grave dirt and why she can't look at the epitaphs for long. Totally hooked! #146

  2. First of all, I love steampunk and I also love witches, so I think this sounds super cool! Also, opening in a graveyard= creepy! You're first 250 are intruiging, and, like Carissa said, your descriptions are great. I just think your query could use a little tightening. At first I thought that the daemon who killed the girl was the same one who kidnapped Idonea's mother. And then I was a little confused with how her father ends up on his death bed. Was it a daemon who did it or the mother? Which one is the bad guy, or maybe it's both? Either way, I'd definitely keep reading. :) Best of luck!

    1. Thanks for the feedback, and luck, Adrianna. I have drafted up a complete new query which helps clarify and tighten, which I'll get fresh eyes on and go from there. :)

  3. Intriguing concept and I enjoyed your first 250 words! Question, are you sure this is steampunk? From the query it seems more like fantasy to me. Now for a couple of totally minor suggestions. First, I think you should take out the mother's name. It pulled me out of the story. Since that thought is going on in her head, she wouldn't be mother Nellith. Second, there's a typo in this sentence in the 4th paragraph: Giving more than a cursory glance at any particular epitaph would only {invited} unwanted attention.

    -Good luck from Entry #152.

    1. Thanks Shannon. I added the 'my mother Nellith' as she isn't allowed to call her mother Mum or any variation, but instead call her by her name. I thought I needed that distinction so people didn't wonder who Nellith was. Tricky to balance I guess.

      And thanks for pointing out that typo! I hate them. -_-