The dust kingdom: a young adult novel excerpt

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Parks, Kristen
Day, Cathy
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Thesis (M.A.)
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This Creative Project is an excerpt of the beginning of a young adult fantasy novel, tentatively titled The Dust Kingdom. This project focuses on two central characters, Niama and Domenec, and follows their journey through a politically arranged marriage. The story deals with several genre-specific strategies, such as political alliances / war, magic, and fantasy world-building. Themes in this novel include feminism, women in positions of power, strength in oneself, and healthy romantic relationships. When Domenec’s father, King Aleksander, along with his brother Crown Prince Aleix are murdered, Domenec must step in as the new king of Adoa. He is unprepared, unready, and unwilling to take the throne. Soon, he is forced into marriage with a fiery but intellectual young woman named Niama. Niama tries to reject the proposal and continue her life in academia, but is eventually led up the aisle to marry Domenec. The two are opposites in every way, and spend their first few weeks as a married couple at odds. However, larger threats loom for Adoa, and the two must work together to discover who was behind the late king’s assassination – because the assassin soon returns. Through working with Niama, Domenec learns that he does in fact have the potential to lead. He was not meant to sit on the throne, but it belongs to him now, and he will work hard to earn his crown. Thrown into dangerous castle life, Niama is forced to come to terms with a truth she’s been denying for a while: her blood has magic, and a lot of it. She works to understand her potential and the gift she has – one that might just save them all.