Title: THE STATUE SAYS SPRING
Word Count: 88,000
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fantasy
Systems of Oppression: Classism, politics of appearance
Author’s Identity: Former hard up child of a struggling single mother.
As daughter to the Lord of Galedonia, fifteen-year-old Ida thinks she’s safe from tragedy … until she fails to save her oldest friend from dying in the pillory. When her father banishes her mother to the slums for defiance, Ida refuses to fail again. She smuggles her mother food and valuables until she’s caught and banished too.
Thrilled to live with her mother again, Ida throws herself into the maze of streets, befriending beggars and crypt-dwellers. But slum life is harsh: her neighbors are scapegoated, maimed, and broken, her mother slaves in a factory, and small-time parasites devour their money. Ida must learn to survive if she hopes for a brighter future, and her new friends are the perfect teachers. With the help of Fairfax, a freakishly ugly outcast with a soft spot for her mother, Ida navigates their knife-edge existence.
When Fairfax is arrested on trumped up charges and left to die in the pillory, Ida is forced to relive her worst memory in the face of a terrible choice. If she’s caught trying to save him, she’ll be sentenced to death. If she walks away, she’ll watch another friend freeze. And in her dangerous new world, where friends mean survival, letting Fairfax die isn’t just cruel … it’s suicidal.
The pillory would be teeming with spectators by dawn. If Ida wanted to help Mr. Hanson in time, she’d have to leave soon.
Across the room, her mother hadn’t shifted in minutes and her breathing was steady. She was finally asleep. Ida crept from bed and collected her bag of supplies, coat, and glasses before sneaking out.
The icy Brimmen sea wind was a slap to the face so Ida pulled her long, lank hair over her ears. It didn’t help. Why was it so cold tonight, of all nights? It was mid-September, but it felt like February, and Mr. Hanson was confined in the pillory with only a thin shirt and breeches. He’d be frozen half to death.
“Ikshik,” Ida cursed as she passed the Basilica’s blood-red gates. Maybe he was frozen to death. It was cold enough. She cursed again, blew on her numb fingers, and sped up. Gregor Hanson was like a grandfather to her, always there when she needed him most. He’d smuggled her forbidden books, taught her to ride boy-fashion, carried her to the surgeon when she broke her collarbone. Ida knew he was innocent, she just knew it. There was no way she’d sleep peacefully in her warm bed while he suffered. If the stars had favoured her, she’d already be wrapping him in a warm blanket. But her mother had guessed she’d sneak out and sat up in her room to stop her.
Her mother never listened to reason.
“He’s our oldest friend,” Ida had argued.