Marc J Gregson (Zeldaman on QT) has signed with agent Heather Cashman of Storm Literary Agency.
Conrad is a feral, bootless sixteen-year-old with just nine toes. Only his mother loves him. But when she starts coughing up black tar, he must find a way to afford her medication or she won't survive winter's chill. The rich tight-asses of his island, with their pristine dueling canes and sleek hovering carriages, would rather kiss a pig than toss him a coin. They're all cusses.
It's up to Conrad to save Mother. So, he enters the Gauntlet—a bloodbath competition where one in five are either burned to the bone in the poison clouds or eaten by flying monstrosities. He and a skyship full of backstabbing teenagers must contend for the seat of Captain, and hunt as many sky serpents as they can find. The precious gas sacs inside these creatures is the secret to flight and so valuable that the sky islands risk everything, even their bright youngsters, for its extraction.
Victory would grant Conrad money not seen in years. But it won't be easy. First, he'll have to win by convincing a pack of traitors to elect him as their Captain, and then start racking up the kills. If he can't, not only will he be lucky to survive, there is no way Mother will.