What if there was a land where children were raised without gender until they grew old enough to choose for themselves?
The Nezel lived in such a land but were forced to flee, becoming refugee servants in the desert realm of Irzem. Despite the hostility of their new masters, they continue to practice their Way as best they can.
As the ritual of Naming approaches, brash Quartz already knows the path ahead, while watchful Almond feels torn, fearing that any choice will disappoint someone in the family. Prowling through secret fortress tunnels, Almond and Quartz overhear a villainous plot: an ambitious underling schemes to seize power from Finch, the rightful Irzemi heir.
Aided by a wise orchard-keeper and other surprising allies, Quartz and Almond invent a desperate plan to help Finch fight to keep the throne. In a richly imagined world, sustained by the power of family both born and made, three young rainbow humans make personal sacrifices and claim their identities in a time of strife.
Published November 7th, 2023, by New Wind. Available in paper, e, and audio formats at your favorite local indie bookstore or all the usual places online, or click here to order.
Cover art by Cygnus Madrose