Here is my entry to an agent run writing contest called… ta-da!… “The Writers Voice Contest”, which, by some strange coincidence, is exactly what I titled this post! All joking aside I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Monica B.W, Cupid, Brenda Drake, and Krista Van Dolzer for their parts in organizing this contest – please visit their blogs and peruse them at your leisure. Monica is a lover of Young Adult literature, as well as an author of the same. Cupid is a matchmaker, Brenda writes, and Krista understands the cycles of life – as well as literary submissions.
As for me? Well, I’m an aspiring author of epic adult fantasy with a deeper, and perhaps darker undercurrent. OK, who am I kidding? I don’t really know what genre my writing truly is, what I do know is that I need help (some would say “restraints”, of the physical variety) – which is what is what I’m hoping for by entering this contest. (Wait, do I want help or restraints? It’s all so confusing…)
I’m feeling on top of the world right now! You see, by purest chance, I managed to secure entry number 66 - which, in the context of Malmaxa, is extremely significant. In Malmaxa the number six is called “The Number of the Gods” and is a powerful portend of both good and ill. (Nope, it has nothing to do with the number of the beast…)
And so, on to the action!
Envision a foreign, yet familiar world. A world ruled by ritual devotion to six divine decrees – immutable laws, which offer no moral guidance, while demanding absolute compliance…
Liaju longs for her twelfth marks, arcane symbols etched into her flesh – by command of the second of these strange laws. These mystic marks grant access to Malmaxa, and her first match. Troubling dreams plague Liaju – visions… unveiling the precipice the Seizen, her people, approach. Yet Liaju’s dreams also reveal an obscure, hidden path of possible escape.
Only Liaju holds escape’s elusive key, as incomprehensible as it is frightening… Self-Sacrifice. Must she relinquish all, to secure the Seizen’s survival?
Eden, a mischievous child, succumbs to temptation and leads her cousin astray. Their road leads through terror, then death, and on to ultimate understanding. Trickery reveals treachery, for Eden’s misdeed exposes a monstrous murder.
Within Malmaxa are no kings or queens, no machines, no pre-determined social hierarchy, and no laws allowed – other than those of the Gods themselves. Is this anarchy unleashed, or paradise’s picture?
Envision Malmaxa, then step inside and experience a world at once astonishingly different, and disturbingly familiar. Join me on this journey, and experience… enlightenment?
Malmaxa I – Beltamar’s War, is the start of journey unlike anything you have yet experienced. Weighing in at a meager 135,000 odd words (and yes, I do mean very odd) I can promise, with absolute sincerity, that you have never read anything quite like Malmaxa. Whether good or bad, I leave you to be the judge.
The first 250 words of the Manuscript.
Assigned as sentry when Ripkira called the noon halt, Adelmar was in a foul mood. With winter’s imminent arrival, and their Ancient Enemy suddenly departing the field of battle, his dreams were dashed – and doubly so.
Dreams of glory, gone – for there could be no heroes, without conflict.
Dreams of vengeance, vanished – along with the groth, and the elusive chance for revenge each battle brought.
The only other survivors from his town were Lucinda and Beltamar. Many times had they dodged death together, seen comrades slain, gathered the Chukrah of the fallen for the Rite of Return. He smiled ruefully. They were staunch brothers in arms now, seldom parted for long.
How he longed to bear Beltamar’s Chukrah to the hoard. Battle after battle he fought with all the tenacity he possessed, struggling to survive and succeeding, albeit barely. After each conflict, he dared hope. Yet always, his searching eyes found Beltamar.
By petitioning against him at the Convocation, Beltamar had earned his hatred. Petitioning, and prevailing. Jalgar, that stone-faced bastard, had ignored the scribes – all of whom had termed his petition ‘exemplary’, obviously favoring it over Beltamar’s. Lip curling in scorn, he recalled their lackluster approval of Beltamar’s petition – damned with the faint praise of being merely ‘qualified’.
In every way had his petition surpassed those of all others, and there had been many. Jalgar had listened to the scribes exalting him, in the reserved manner of their class. ….