YA Low Fantasy Novel
Kya is a YA Low Fantasy novel set in the not-too-distant future of earth.
The book revolves around Kya, a spirited young woman who comes to Raven Fortress in search of her brother and wishing to hone her magical power. But the Fortress is not what she was lead to believe and dark forces seek to destroy her at every turn. To survive, Kya must help her clan climb the ranks and be promoted out of the Fortress and onto the battlefield. But the Fortress proves to be a battlefield of its own...
Read a preview of chapter 3 of Kya!
By morning, Kya's wrist was stiff and the edges of the A3 were puffy. She wore the same
clothes she came in with - the last comfort of her old life. Her duffle bag had been returned to her at some point during the night, but as she searched frantically through it, she felt her heart drop when she realized what was missing.
"What did they take?" Nick asked as he retrieved a clean shirt from his own bag.
"The picture of my brother is gone."
"Surprised? After what we know about this place now, they probably don't want us to
remember what we're fighting for."
"Bastards," Kya growled.
Moments later, Sparr'a hauled open the rolling door and prepared to lead her clan out. "Keep your eyes open and your mouths shut out there, newbies. New kids don't talk to other clans unless
they're addressed first. Do not use your powers, either; last thing we need is a rival clan to know what you can do before your first test. Stick close to us."
Cota, Arda, and Sparr'a lead the way out, forming a sparse semi-circle ahead of the others. They walked up the gradual grade, the same way they'd come in the night before. This time Kya
noticed that they passed other sliding doors. At the top of the incline, Sparr'a made a sharp right turn, practically doubling back. Immediately after the turn was a huge crowd of people. Groups ranging from four to ten people stood clustered together. Some were louder than others. A few hung close to the walls, cradling their freshly stamped hands with a mixture of confusion and terror on their faces.
Sparr'a led them down the hall with her head high, like royalty sweeping through the masses. Just ahead, Kya spotted what she assumed was the mess hall. Several clans were already seated
inside and there appeared to be an order of entrance.
As they reached the wide doorway, a lithe figure moved smoothly in front of it. "Wouldn't be trying to go in ahead of us, would you, Sparrow?"
"We've been here for two years, Baine," Sparr'a answered icily. "Do you really think my
memory is that bad or are you too stupid to know when it's your turn to go in unless we show up?"
The shadowy figure stepped into the light. He dressed similarly to Cota, but jet-black hair fell across one side of his face, giving Kya the impression of someone peering out from behind a
Baine let out a growl of annoyance. "Just wondered how the mighty Clan Bronwyn is doing after their recent...losses. Cota ready to come back to his old clan yet?"
Cota glared at Baine, "I'm doing just fine where I am. And in case you haven't noticed, our 'losses' have been replaced."
One of Baine's clan stepped forward. He was tall and muscular with cherry red hair. Several pendants hung from a chain around his neck and various rings adorned his hands. He smiled wolfishly at Sparr'a, "You mean you were actually trusted with new blood, too?"
"Looks it, doesn't it?" Leo muttered irritably beside Kya.
Baine's head shot up, "What was that? Which one of you said that? Who talked back to Mitch?"
His one visible eye showed rage. Other members of the clan shouted and beside Baine, his companion's eyes flashed red, almost matching his hair.
Leo's face flashed panic.
Cota clenched his jaw and Arda's eyes showed regret and pain as she bowed off to the
"Well?" Sparr'a said quietly, as she turned to her clan.
Leo started to step forward, but Kya jumped ahead of him without a thought, "I said it looks it, doesn't it? Maybe Sparr'a is right - must not be as smart as you look."
Mitch's face twisted into a snarl.
Too late, Kya remembered that these people were already allowed to use their
magic, but she didn't back off. "You let new kids talk like that, Sparrow? All right,
kid; welcome to your first test!" Sharp fingernails swiped across Kya's face. She winced, but kept a steady gaze on Mitch.
"Sparrow, I challenge your kid to a fight! She challenged a superior clan on her first day!"
Sparr'a sighed and turned to give Kya a brief, appraising look. Finally she nodded. "Very well. But no magic, clear? If I see so much as a wisp come from you, the rest of us will rip you to shreds." She waited until Mitch agreed, then turned back to Kya, "Here's the deal: physical combat,
prison rules. No magic permitted. You lose when you've been put face down on the floor twice. Your clan mates may speak now," she paused to address the others, "but do not jump in with her!
We don't need this to get any worse!"
With that, the crowd formed a circle around Mitch and Kya. For a few short seconds, Kya wondered what signal started the fight, when all of a sudden she felt a powerful blow strike her temple. She fell to her knees; she vaguely heard Leo and Nick yelling something. The floor
in front of her shifted back and forth and her vision blurred as she remembered that she could only fall all the way twice and she was already part way down. Her head cleared and she climbed to her feet, only to have Mitch punch her in the face. She reeled away as his fist made contact and she waited for another blow to knock her to the floor, but it never came. He's dragging it out, she thought, he wants me to hurt. He had two years of experience in fighting this way. But Kya had an older brother. A plan sprang to her mind as she recalled all the ways her brother had taught her to protect herself.
She swung around fast and aimed a kick at his crotch, but Mitch grabbed her by the ankle. "Didn't really expect that to work, did you?" he sneered and flipped her away. Her face smacked against the stone floor and she tasted blood.
Mitch leaned down over her, "Ain't your regular fight, is it sweetheart?"
Kya brought her head up with all her strength. She jumped to her feet as Mitch's hands flew to his nose, now spurting blood.
"Atta girl!" Cota yelled.
Before Mitch could straighten up all the way, Kya ducked in close to his side and punched up
into his liver. "Arhh!" he yelled, doubling over.
Kya took the opportunity to kick the heavy heel of her boot into the back of his knee, effectively dropping him to one knee. Wasting no time, Kya came up behind him and slammed her elbow into his back. Mitch fell face-first onto the floor.
Kya stood, panting and eyes ablaze as Mitch struggled back to his feet. He turned and looked at Kya with savage red eyes; she saw those eyes and remembered the scratches on her face. Mitch's power must be morphing - he could turn into a cat!
"You fight bloody, newbie," his voice was low and deadly, but Kya raised her own voice.
"Like a she-cat?" she taunted.
His eyes widened and he let out a genuine hiss of rage. The next thing Kya knew, she was falling backwards with Mitch on top of her, but she managed to hold her upper body up as they landed. Mitch clamped his hands around her throat, trying to shove her all the way down. Kya gasped and grabbed his arms. She couldn't breathe. She couldn't move her body. She was sitting up underneath him, but his weight was keeping her pinned down. As her vision started to spot, she saw a target close-by and too beautiful to pass up. She let go of Mitch's powerful arms and punched out in front of her.
Mitch howled and rolled off Kya, clenching his legs together.
"Sure...seems like...it worked," she panted as she turned away from him so she could catch her
breath. At that moment she heard Nick scream for her to watch out. Then needles were tearing through the back of her neck and she heard a feral snarl.
"No! No, get off her!"
Then Sparr'a and Arda were there, yanking the weight off her. She saw a leather-clad arm snake around her waist as she was lifted from the floor.
Sparr'a was livid. "Baine! He broke the rules! He used magic on a newbie! Clan Larkin forfeits the fight!"