by Lan Chan
Release Date: September 1st 2015
Summary from Goodreads:
Since the night her mother was murdered, sixteen-year-old Rory Gray has known one truth: There are no good Seeders.
In post-apocalyptic Australia, the scientists known as Seeders have built a Citadel surrounded by food-producing regions and populated with refugees from the wars and famine. To maintain their control, the Seeders poisoned the land and outlawed the saving of seeds.
It’s been six years since Rory graced the Seeders’ circus stage as the Wind Dancer and still the scars on her body haven’t healed. Even worse are the scars on her heart, left by a Seeder boy who promised to protect her.
Now the Seeders are withholding supplies from Rory’s region for perceived disobedience. Utilising the Wanderer knowledge she received from her mother, Rory must journey to the Citadel through uninhabitable terrain to plead for mercy.
However, the Citadel isn’t as Rory remembered. The chief plant geneticist is dying and rumours fly that the store of viable seed is dwindling. The Seeders are desperate to find a seed bank they believe Rory can locate, and they will stop at nothing to get it.
To defy the Seeders means death. But Rory has been close to death before--this time she’s learned the value of poison.
Recommended for fans of The Hunger Games, strong protagonists, circuses and nature!
**Poison (Wind Dancer #1) is on sale for $0.99 for the week of September 7th-11th!**
As part of their mandate to ensure a healthy populace, the Seeders implement a rigorous physical education program in all elementary schools. It’s the only time the Farmer and Merchant children are allowed to have contact at school. When I was five, one of the Farmers pushed me off a rope climb and I managed to land on my feet. I was taken to the nurse, who did what I had thought had been a routine check up. The Seeders assessed my height, my weight, my eyesight, my reflexes, and a dozen other things I can’t name. They took my parents into an office and spoke to them in hushed, clipped voices.
Six months later, the Seeders dropped four other girls and me out of an aircraft. They wanted to see which of us could brave the dizzying heights enough to join their beloved Earth and Sky Circus. I was the only one who remembered to pull the cord on the parachute. The Seeders nicknamed me Wind Dancer and promised to teach me how to fly.
For a little while, I actually believed them.
It was in the circus’ animal pens that Aiden found me late one night after lights out, huddled in a corner, nursing a fresh cut across my palm from the ringmaster’s whip. I hadn’t realised then, but Aiden must have already been there when I arrived. I slid to my knees in front of the sabrewolf pen and curled my fingers around the metal bars, crying silent tears.
Then out of the corner of the pens came a voice. “Aren’t you afraid of them?” Aiden had said.
I backed away immediately, knowing my presence in the pens was forbidden. Through the blur of tears, I could only make out a faint shadow amidst the darkness, but even at eight, Aiden was taller than me by at least a head. I sat frozen as he came to kneel beside me, his interest captured by the pair of sabrewolves in the cage.
“They’re the first of their kind to be successfully tamed, you know?” he said like we were old friends. “Crossed between dingo and frozen tundra wolf DNA.” After I sat in silence too long, Aiden turned to me, and I flinched. Pity filled his eyes, and I remember thinking I must have been just like a frightened animal to him.
“I won’t tell anyone you were here,” he said. “I promise. What’s your name?”
“Aurora Gray,” I said, knowing full well he knew who I was. Just as I knew he was Aiden Forrester, son of Gideon Forrester, the Warden of my home in Gideon’s Landing.
“Pleased to meet you, Aurora.” He took my hand in his to shake it, and that’s when he noticed the wound. A shadow fell across his face. “The ringmaster?” he said, and there was such cold fury in his voice that all I could do was nod.
The circus trainers never touched me again, and every night afterwards, Aiden came to watch me soar above the crowds. He showed me the secrets of the Citadel and promised to protect me. That’s how I know Seeders are liars.About the Author
Lan Chan is a writer, gardener and professional procrastinator based in Melbourne, Australia. She is still waiting for her super powers to manifest but until then she writes young adult novels featuring strong female protagonists, minority characters and has a particular interest in dystopias and urban fantasy. Lan’s debut novel POISON, the first in her WIND DANCER series is due for release in September 2015.
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