I am currently querying SONG OF THE STARSTONE, a 98,000-word YA fantasy with sequel potential. It offers the equestrian adventures of Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, and the animal friends and magical whimsy of Woven In Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez, with subtle climate change themes as in The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin.

When Layli discovers her island’s water source is threatened, she embarks on a bold journey, armed with a stolen stallion and an enchanted crystal, to safeguard the water supply and create a new and more magical world.

YA fantasy, full of horses, magical crystals, and mystery on the icy island of Elsmier.

The Union governs a world where water is rationed and fertile soil is expensive. Layli is an orphaned stable girl who yearns for a life beyond the confines of her employers’ remote guest ranch. While she mucks stalls and mends fences, the wealthy entertain themselves with show horses and lavish parties. But no matter who you are, everyone has to pay a birthtax.

When Union officials arrive at Layli’s door demanding papers she doesn’t have, she finally realizes why she’s been kept hidden for so long: her negligent caregivers never paid for her birthtax. Now she must face a mountain of debt or else surrender to life in a labor camp. 

Desperate to come up with a staggering sum, Layli steals a prized stallion and heads for a black market hidden deep in the woods. Along the way, she discovers a crystal that glimmers with the promise of prosperity, only to realize it has painted a new target on her back. She found the Solari, a rare stone worth a fortune to those who believe in its magical healing powers. Now she faces a pivotal choice: sell the precious crystal or bear the responsibility of protecting it. 

The decision gets more complicated when animals start talking to her. Not just speaking, but warning Layli of the ones who hunt the crystal. There are the Sarsas, a powerful mining family, eager to make the crystal the crown of their collection. A handsome boy named Tayo, who seeks to avenge the theft of his stolen stallion. And most dangerous of all, a Union Commissioner whose determination to dig until he finds the Solari could contaminate the remaining water supply. If Layli truly wants to be free, she must outsmart her pursuers and race against time not just to save the rivers from poison, but also to unlock the crystal’s full power to heal the wounds of the forest and create a new, more magical world.

Novel Aesthetics