The Moonlight Blade
Author: Tessa Barbosa
An atmospheric, edge-of-your-seat fantasy from a debut Filipina-Canadian author that combines the grit of The Witcher with the voice of Rin Chupeco.
Narra Jal is cursed. Birthmarks declare her damned, and her penance for the sins from a past life is a touch that spreads bad luck like poison. As the humble daughter of a cloth merchant, she spent her life traversing Tigang, a harsh country carved out of stone, moving from place to place before people discover her secret and chase her out.
When her mother is arrested, Narra blames her bad luck. She has no money for bribes and no connections to beg favors to save her family. What she needs is power. Every ten years, Tigang selects a new ruler through a vicious competition. Anyone may compete, but only the desperate and the foolish ever join. No one knows what happens in the glass fortress during the trials, only that those who survive never leave unbroken.
Within the magic suffused walls of the fortress, Narra quickly realizes there is more at risk than her life and her family. She comes face to face with a disarming immortal enemy and learns how close the peace in Tigang is to shattering. Narra must unravel the mystery of who she is, and confront the ugly truth of who she was, before the competition undoes her, or her growing feelings for the enemy destroy her people – again.