Title: THE EYES OF FIRE
Genre: Adult Epic Fantasy Ownvoices
Word Count: 134,000
How did you Fall for writing: I was an avid reader as a child, and as I grew older, I felt like trying my hand at writing my own book. It was difficult and challenging, but so much fun. I got to be the author and tell any story I wanted! Throughout high school and college, I kept writing and writing, honing my craft, in hopes of one day becoming an author.
Rayth Emberlan is haunted by a demon. Being human, however, is his real curse.
Imprisoned in a land where humans are despised, Rayth is condemned to the Arena, a massive battle pit filled with the kingdom’s deadliest prisoners. To earn his freedom, Rayth must win over the entaari crowd, but many centuries worth of hatred between humans and entaari stands in his way. Rayth must overcome that hatred and show the entaari that he’s not some human monster, but a man like themselves.
Oh, and the whole haunted by a demon thing doesn’t make it any easier.
A personification of darkness, Lilyth is bound to Rayth’s soul. She corrupts his thoughts and actions, craving bloodshed and seeking to bend him to her will. Rayth’s battle to survive is three-fold. He must conquer Lilyth’s pull on his humanity, survive the onslaught of prisoners, and sway the entaari hearts, if he’s to escape the Arena in one piece.
I am a 24-year-old teacher with an insatiable love for fantasy novels. As a Muslim-American, named Jihad no less, I’ve experienced much discrimination first-hand. I wanted to tell a story that parallels some of the things myself and other minority groups have faced in our day to day lives. THE EYES OF FIRE isn’t just an epic fantasy novel filled with magic and adventure, it’s one with a deeper meaning, one that puts the reader in the shoes of a young man at war with an intolerant society ruled by a bigoted queen.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
First 250 words:
Rayth parried his father’s blade and took the offensive. Rage burned like molten iron in his core. It craved destruction, and his father became a fitting target.
Rayth’s body blurred as he drew speed from his blessing. His muscles, unaccustomed to these bursts of acceleration, screamed in pain, but he ignored their cries. With a roar he swung his blade, the blunted steel becoming a grey phantom thirsting for blood.
Opposite him, Aeron tapped into his own blessing, using the burst of speed to duck beneath Rayth’s attack. He swung the blade in a wide arc that nearly took Rayth’s head from his shoulders, before striking his son with a kick to the stomach.
“You’re going to need to be faster than that to beat me,” Aeron teased, darting back out of reach. He wiped the sweat from his brow and loosened his sword arm. “I didn’t kick you too hard, did I?”
He mocks you… Paint the grass crimson with his blood.
“Shut up,” Rayth snarled, trying to suppress Lilyth’s bloodlust. It had become increasingly difficult of late. Still grimacing from his father’s kick, Rayth turned his gaze to the sky. The sun was nearly free from its hiding spot behind the clouds. He wouldn’t have to deal with Lilyth’s pull for much longer.
Rayth ignored her voice, unable to silence it, and studied his father. From the lag in his step to his quickened breath, it seemed like the old man was on his last legs, but Rayth knew better.