Title: A FALCONER OF VENICE
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
Word Count: 65,000 words
Seventeen-year-old heiress Amalia Cornaro never wanted to become a Falconer — a mage handler for the Venetian Empire — but someone had to seal Zaira’s out-of-control fire magic. Now Amalia, who relates better to magical devices than to people, is the only one who can release Zaira’s power; and Zaira, a brash pickpocket, isn’t allowed to leave the fortresslike Mews without Amalia at her side. Furious at her loss of freedom, Zaira is determined to make their unwilling partnership a difficult one.
Then a devious plot incites conflict between Venice and Florence, and the threat of Zaira’s fire magic becomes Venice’s strongest negotiating tool. With friends and family in both cities asking for her help, Amalia must navigate a course as narrow and twisting as the canals of Venice itself to avoid betraying her city or the people she loves. But when the plotters turn to kidnapping and murder to protect their plans, Amalia’s life may be in even more danger than her honor.
Zaira’s courage and street-smarts combined with Amalia’s wits and political clout may be enough to unravel the treacherous scheme before it incites war... if they can learn to work together. If they fail, Amalia’s orders from the ruling council of Venice are clear: to unleash Zaira’s power against Florence, consigning the city — and her friends there — to fiery destruction.
A FALCONER OF VENICE is a YA historical fantasy set in an alternate Venice at the end of the 17th century, complete at 65,000 words.
“Here, my Lady? Are you sure?”
As the prow of my gondola nudged the stone steps at the water’s edge, I realized I should have walked — or at least hired a gondola other than my own. The gondolier was bound to report back to La Contessa that her daughter had disembarked at a grimy little quay in a particularly dubious corner of Cannaregio sestiere, the least aristocratic district of Venice.
But by the time my mother heard anything, I’d already have the book.
“Yes, thank you. Right here.”
The gondolier made no comment as he steadied his craft, but his eyebrows conveyed deep skepticism.
I’d worn a country gentleman’s coat and breeches to avoid standing out in working class Cannaregio. I was glad not to have to keep skirts from trailing in the murky water as I clambered out. Trash bobbed in the canal, and the tang in the air was not exclusively salt.
“Shall I wait for you here, my Lady?”
“No, that’s all right.” The less my mother knew about my errand, the better.
She had not precisely forbidden me to visit the pawnbroker who claimed to have a copy of Muscati’s A Study of Tidal Enchantment and Artifice, but she’d made her opinion of such excursions clear. And no one casually disobeyed La Contessa Lissandra Cornaro. Her word resonated powerfully in every walled garden and forgotten piazza in Venice.
Still, there was nothing casual about a Muscati. This book might give me exactly what I needed for my design.