About the Book
Title: The Theft of Sunlight
Series: Book 1 in a duology in the “Dauntless Path” world
Author: Intisar Khanani
Cover Artist: Jenny Zemanek (http://www.seedlingsonline.com)
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: March 23, 2021
Publisher: HarperTeen (US/CA), Hot Key (UK)
I did not choose this fate. But I will not walk away if I can make a difference.
Children have been disappearing from Menaiya for longer than Amraeya ni Ansarim can remember. When her best friend’s sister disappears, Rae knows she can’t stay silent any longer. She finds the chance to make a difference in an invitation to the palace.
But Rae struggles to fit in with the lords and ladies of the court. Instead, she finds unexpected help in a rough-around-the-edges thief named Bren who always seems to have her best interests at heart. Soon even Bren can’t help her, and Rae must risk her life and well-being to face an evil that lurks in the shadows of the darkest hearts.
“If he could tell us anything helpful, surely we would have heard by now,” I tell Ani, not wanting to give her false hope.
“I can’t give up,” Ani says desperately. “I can’t.”
If only there were some lead, some small clue to grasp at, but we’ve turned up nothing: no one remembers anything unusual, every stranger has been accounted for, every wagon searched. There is not a track out of place, nothing.
“Baba is riding east with two other men, following the road to Lirelei,” she says. “Everyone’s heard that . . . that the children might be sent on from the eastern ports.”
“It’s good that he’s going,” I say. It’s only scraps of rumor and fireside theories that suggest the snatched end up as slaves in other lands. Who sends them, how they are to be discovered—no one knows. But it’s worth the journey if Seri can be found.
Ani turns to me, her face tight with fury. “Children disappear every day. Have you thought about that? Perhaps only every few years for us, but in the cities? Across the whole of this kingdom? It must be a few every day. How can it go on? How is it that no one manages to stop it?”
I shake my head. It had been easy enough, these past years, to pretend the snatchers were not so constant or near a threat— because they rarely strike here, in so small a town as this. But now little Seri is gone, with her laughing eyes and impish sense of humor. Niya asked if the Circle of Mages really has tried to track the snatched, and I wonder if they have. If they care, or the royal court cares, or if anyone at all knows how the snatchers are able to hide every last trace of our children.
Ani takes a deep breath. “What use are the taxes we pay? What use is our king and all his soldiers, if they can’t stop our brothers and sisters from being stolen on the streets?”
“Not much,” I admit. It might be treason to say so, but there is no one to hear us on this empty road. I run my hands over my head, tug at my braids, hating this helplessness. “What can we do, though?”
“I don’t know,” Ani says, and for the first time since she came to our cart asking after Seri, she begins to cry.
I fold her into my arms, holding her tight as she sobs into my shoulder, and promise myself I’ll keep trying. And I won’t give up either.
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Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters.
Intisar used to write grants and develop projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. She is the author of The Sunbolt Chronicles and Thorn.
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