Emily A Duncan (glitzandshadows on QT) has signed with agent Thao Le of Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.
It was inspired by Russian and Polish folklore, the two kingdoms are loosely based on those countries. I fell in love with the underlying thread in Slavic folklore that monsters could be lurking around any corner and that presence is obvious in SD+H. I wanted to write a book that deals with faith and doubt flavored heavily with magic and monsters.
When Nadezhda Lapteva talks to the gods, they talk back—granting her divine magic. Heretics lay waste to her country in a holy war, inching closer to her monastery every day. Only her power can match the enemy's blood magic. But her magic is not enough to fend off the blood mage prince, Serefin, and she flees into the mountains, her monastery in flames behind her.
Joining with a group of refugees as they plot vengeance on the enemy king, Nadia initially clashes with a blood mage among them who fled from a monstrous cult. Soon she finds herself drawn to Malachiasz despite his power and her gods' dire warnings. Her magic is subject to the gods' approval and befriending the blood mage could prove disastrous.
Serefin Meleski fears his father no longer finds him useful, and the king wouldn't be the first to do away with an unruly heir. He plots to kill his father before his father kills him, all in the midst of a national ceremony.
Nadia and Malachiasz infiltrate the ceremony to get close to the king, but someone is harvesting blood mages for a dark purpose, endangering their plot. For Nadia this could mean discovery; for Serefin, it could mean death. Nadia must decide whether she trusts the prince—her country's enemy—or the boy with monstrous powers who may ignite something worse than the war they're trying to end.
SOMETHING DARK AND HOLY is a YA high fantasy told from dual perspectives inspired by Russian and Polish folklore. Leigh Bardugo's Grisha trilogy meets DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor, it is complete at 102k words and stands on its own with sequel potential.