Ariah’s magical training has been interrupted. Forced to rely on a mentor, Dirva, who is not who he claims to be, and a teacher who is foreign and powerful, Ariah is drawn into a culture wholly different from the elven one that raised him.
As his friendship with Dirva’s brother blossoms into a surprising romance, and he slowly learns how to control the dangerous magic in his blood, life finally appears to be coming together for Ariah—but love and security are cut short by a tyrannical military empire bent on expanding its borders.
War, betrayal, passion, and confusion follow Ariah as his perilous journey leads him beyond the walls of the Empire, and into unfamiliar territory within himself. Along the way, he’ll discover just how much he’s willing to give up to find his place in the world, and he’ll learn what it means to sacrifice himself for freedom—and for love.
Praise for Ariah
“Sanders shows significant promise as a writer to watch. I look forward to seeing what they do next.” – Liz Bourke, Tor.com
“Ariah embodies the true potential of Bildungsroman in terms of the protagonist’s journey to adulthood, and that its intelligent, powerful, emotive discussion of gender, sexuality, culture, racism, imperialism, language, family, love, autonomy and personhood, among other things, is evocative of the best aspects of both Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor and Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice…Ariah is an intelligent, powerful, skilfully written, diverse novel–exactly the kind of thing we need to see more of in SFF.” – Foz Meadows, Tor.com
“The author’s skill at blending classic elements makes the story fresh and exciting. Splendid prose and an absorbing story are built on realistically complicated, well-developed characters and relationships, and the explorations of pride, vanity, humility, love, philosophy, and sexuality make this vivid tale of Ariah’s journey towards maturity a must-read.” – Publisher’s Weekly (in reference to 2013 ABNA manuscript)
“Have you ever been addicted to a soap opera? That is exactly what this story is!…B. R. Sanders words give your mind the scene and depicts the characters in a way that you can see them and hear them.” – Books and Cozy Spots