Demon in the WhitelandsBook One
Genre: YA Fantasy
Date of Publication: September 24, 2019
Number of pages: 358
Cover Artist: Danielle Doolittle
Sixteen-year-old Samuel, son of a devout cleric, has endured shame and prejudice his entire life. Though he is destined to follow in his father’s footsteps, he longs for an ordinary life in the whitelands away from talk of demons and holy roots.
When the mayor claims to have captured a mute demon-girl, Samuel is forced to become her caretaker. But as Samuel gets to know the prisoner, he finds her not to be very demonlike. Instead, she is intelligent, meek, and an exceptional artist. Despite her seeming goodness, some more concerning things cannot be ignored. Samuel is hard-pressed to reconcile her uncanny strength and speed, one missing arm, ambiguous gender, and the mysterious scars covering most of her body.
Samuel forms a deep attachment to the girl with predator eyes and violent outbursts, against his father’s advice. As their friendship threatens to become something more, Samuel discovers the mayor’s dark intentions. Now, he must decide whether to risk his own execution by setting her free, or watch as the girl is used as a pawn in a dangerous game of oppression, fear, and murder.
After a while, the buck quieted its struggle. It panted wildly, its dark tongue hanging out the crack of its mouth. Samuel got to his knees, drawing closer. The deer twisted its neck in horror, its dark eyes watching him. They were wide and black. The eyes of prey.
Samuel reached inside his jacket and got the knife.
“It’s okay,” he said softly as he straddled the deer’s torso, making sure to fully secure him underneath his legs. The buck’s muscles twitched, but the creature could do nothing. How had the girl felt when she’d been caught in the bear trap, iron teeth snapping into her leg? Like the buck? Did she think she’d be free? Somehow, he couldn’t picture her as a deer. She was more like a scrappy wolf cub.Or a demon.
About the Author:
Nikki Richard is a sensitive queer writer with moods and coping mechanisms. An MFA graduate from the University of Baltimore, she lives in the city with her hot wife, amazing daughter, and fluffy cat.