Long ago, a jealous god stole the wind from his sister’s world, unleashing a smoldering chasm at the equator that’s not only spreading but brimming with diabolical creatures. To survive, rich humans invest in wing-power, training murmurations to soar over fields to pollinate crops and fill ships’ sails. For everyone else, one species of bees remains on the remote isle of Abelha, and whoever wins the Trials to rule them, rules the world.
A young farmer from the poor Midworld nation of Doce is the Trials unlikely champion. But the night before Lenita’s coronation, she disappears. Now, Naokah, her younger, less daring sister must compete in the next Trials to find her. Not only must she face leaving home for the first time and ruthless contenders, but a longstanding bee phobia, and justifiably so—she’s deathly allergic.
But the Isle of Abelha houses more than just bees. There’s a sinister presence haunting Naokah. And as she braves an eerie castle with sprawling wings of swarming hives, murmuring murals, deceptive hedge mazes, and a host of leering gargoyles, she must also face the Regente, who’s guarding the darkest secret of all.
Will Naokah find her sister before she falls to the same fate?
*Finished! Sending to my agent over the holidays for notes/edits