ARIAH, available now on Amazon, takes place in a sweeping world of racial politics and intercultural tensions. B R Sanders’ writing focuses on Ariah’s personal evolution with laser-like precision to craft this expansive universe. A book driven by the central character and his growth, Sanders has as much to say on our own world’s treatment of gender, sexuality, race and class as they do about Ariah himself. Enter the giveaway for a chance to win an ebook! Two winners will receive an ebook in the format of their choice (mobi, epub or PDF)
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.
Sorcha noticed me for the first time then. He looked me over, up and down, measuring and final like Abira when I first met her. He has an extraordinarily expressive face, and I could read his mind without help from any gift; anyone could have. He looked me over, he smirked at my Semadran clothes, the stiffness of my posture, and then he grinned a silent proposition. I burst into nervous laughter. His eyebrows flicked up, and his grin grew that much more canny. Abira shoved me towards him. I landed about two inches away from him. We saw exactly eye to eye; Sorcha and I were exactly the same height. “You get him settled in, would you?” she said. “I just want to get back to the Refuge and crash already.”
“You could crash here for the night,” Sorcha said. I had long since dropped my gaze and was peering idly out at the Square on no pretense at all, but I could feel him staring at me as he said it.
“No, I’m all right,” she said. “Fond memories and all, but my roof don’t leak. It’s all yours.”
She left me there with her younger brother. He ran a hand through his hair—a bright, shocking red—and nodded towards the dilapidated house. “Well, let’s get you in, get you settled. Your name’s
“Yes,” I said tentatively.
“Well, is it or isn’t it?”
“It is. Ariah. Ariah Lirat’Mochai. A pleasure to meet you,” I said, holding out my hand. We were still standing too close together, and it was awkward, holding my hand out in the thin thread of space between us.
He took my hand. “Yeah, sure. Same. You hungry? Thirsty?”
I stole a quick glance at the disheveled house. “No. Just tired, I think.”
He ushered me inside with an arm draped around my shoulders. I didn’t know how to react to that, so I chose not to react at all. Somehow, the interior of the building was worse off than the exterior. He made no apologies for it. Inside, a dozen or so scrawny, hard-eyed youths milled around, all of them obviously of mixed heritage. “This is the gang,” he said. “The Natives. Nahsiyya to a man, and all City-born. With your eyes you’ll fit right in.” He whistled the same piercing, sharp whistle as he had out in the Square. “Hey! This is Ariah. He’s bunking with us.”
A woman with creamy skin and wild, woolly black hair poked her head around a door frame. I felt my throat close up at the sight of her. I was terribly attracted to her. “You vouching, Sorcha?”
“Yeah. You’ll never guess where I found him.”
“We can all guess where you found him,” said a lanky girl with Qin eyes. She sat in the broken shell of what had once been a window, one leg trailing to the street.
“No, you really can’t. I’d lay a bet on it, but I’m not so heartless that I’d take everything you got. Caddie, hey, you got to hear this.” The attractive woman with the wild hair came back into view. She leaned in the doorframe, her chin held high and her face stony, expressionless. “Found him with Abbie,” Sorcha said. He was savoring it, the delivery of all this news. “Lor came back, and he brought this fella with him. Caddie, he came back.”
Pronouns: they/them/their. B R Sanders i a white, genderqueer writer who lives and works in Denver, CO, with their family and two cats. Outside of writing, B has worked as a research psychologist, a labor organizer and a K-12 public education data specialist. Stay in touch with B with their newsletter, at their blog, over on facebook or follow them on twitter @B_R_Sanders.