Thursday, February 13, 2014

Blind Speed Dating #3 (MG)

Genre: MG Sci-Fi
Word Count: 62,000


Twelve-year-old Lena Landalian's parents have left her behind in the City. Before she left, Lena’s mother told her a dangerous secret—they are both Zendabardis, a clan supposedly wiped out centuries before. Lena begins to piece together the truth of her ancestral powers when she finds her uncle repairing a little jeweled snow lion. It suddenly flies up into the air, a living creature made from inanimate materials. Her uncle calls it a fairy fate.

Just as Lena begins adjusting to school, her familiar world is upended by a ferocious invasion from beyond the mountains. The invaders execute the royal family and systematically bomb the City. In the chaos, Lena helps rescue a motley group of survivors, including a boy who may be the last living heir to the throne and an old man who should have been king.

Pursued by the invaders through the ancient catacombs beneath the city, these survivors must learn to trust each other and become a team, especially hard for the arrogant young prince, Tarin, and the loner, Lena. But as they first flee and then begin to fight back, Lena and Tarin unravel secrets about themselves—and the truth about the world beyond the mountains—that the ruling dynasty has suppressed for centuries.

At last Lena learns how to tap her hidden Zendabardi power to bring to bring fairy fates back to life, and that just might save them all.

THE SNOW LION, which draws on Tibetan culture and myth, is akin to far-future novels such as City of Ember and might appeal to readers of Sarah Prineas, Laura Amy Schlitz and Rae Carson.

First 250:

Lena leaned out over Florinal’s bow, her hair flying, straining for the first glimpse of the City. She and her parents had left behind vast fields of wheat, rice paddies and endless citrus groves, where Grid-deaf Bhodi toiled with bent backs. They had passed the City's outer islands, dotted with villages and crowned with snow. Now at last, Florinal tacked across the mouth of the wide bay that led into the heart of the City, closer with every puff of wind.

Houses and gardens, temples and shops gripped the rocky mountainsides, a brilliant tapestry in the late afternoon sunlight. Even at this distance she heard bells ringing and the rumble of wheels on the stone roads. Voices drifted across the water. On a dock, Grid workers unloaded bales of crimson silk from a barge and floated them effortlessly onto the back of a truck. Lena inhaled spice and smoke and the rich, musky scent of human and animal life.

Lena looked back at her parents. They were watching a black boat speeding toward them, slapping every wave, their faces expressionless. Lena studied the oncoming boat. Three men in orange tunics and black pants stood on the deck—King’s guards. It wasn’t a big secret that her parents hated the City guards. Lena did, too. Everyone did.

When she glanced at them again, her parents seemed to be chatting casually as if they hadn’t even noticed the boat and the guards. It cut across their path, throwing up a sharp wave.


  1. I think Bree Ogden might like to see this when the exclusives are up. Please send the first 50 pages as an attachment to with the subject line #CLCBSD. Thank you!
    Jami Nord
    Intern for Bree Ogden