Stream Pirate is a YA fantasy novel about pirates, a princess, coups, and magic tree sap. It is no longer traipsing through the wide, wide world of querying, as it is now represented by the fan-tabulous Kate Schafer Testerman of kt literary.
Here is a book trailer/fan-vid thingy:
And here is an excerpt from the beginning of chapter one:
Every introduction was the same.
“Welcome to Radial Stream, Your Excellencies. I am King Tombolo Fan. May I present my daughter, Alluvial Fan.”
“Thank you for taking time out of your precious schedule to come gold-digging in a kingdom you would never ordinarily set foot in. My, your son is fatter than the portrait you sent of him. I’m king here, so put any thoughts of pomposity out of your overly-powdered-wigged head. To make sure you don’t forget that my daughter will one day be in my position, she alone will call me Tom while the rest of you may refer to me only as King Tombolo.”
At least that’s what I heard my father say. Made the day more interesting.
This introduction took place on the dock reserved for the royal family in Daol Port. The buzz of the busy capital provided a nice hum against the half-mumbled speech of intent from the Duke of Branderbee’s son. He was a very nervous-looking fellow, half a foot shorter than me and at least forty pounds heavier. Apparently he had heard the version of my father’s introduction that I had, because as he spoke his eyes never left his shoes and his cheeks grew redder. The world’s future lay on shoulders like these. How reassuring.
“Sir, I-I-thanks, thank you, thank you for the chance to meet with Your Highnesses. I have been looking up-forward, forward to this meeting with the princess, whom I have heard so much about.”
Tom’s lips remained in a welcoming smile beneath his gray beard, though I could tell he had reached the same conclusion as I – it was over. Very over. He took my arm, forcing me to take a few steps closer to the duke’s son.
Oh, grand. My turn.
“It is a pleasure to meet both of you,” I said, faking a smile as fluidly as my father. When I shook the duke’s son’s hand, his sweaty palm slipping against mine, I couldn’t resist. “I’ve been looking up-forward to meeting you too.”
Tom immediately grabbed my waist and shoved me aside. He flung himself into a conversation with the Duke of Branderbee and his son as though doing so would prevent them from hearing my mockery. With them engaged in a discussion of the ball they had come for, I was free to turn my back and let my smile rise from pleasant to amused. After five long years of being paraded in front of suitors, each boy was still a source of great entertainment.
My smile fell. Picking at the lace that cascaded out from my waist and dripped down the skirt of my green ball gown, I stared at the dock through curtains of my red spiral curls. Five years. Nothing had changed in those five years. If I closed my eyes, ignored the conversation behind me, I couldn’t tell any time had passed at all. I was still just thirteen, meeting the first dashing suitor with my father. I was still young and hopeful. I was still under the fairytale impression that finding the right suitor would mend the hole that had been ripped through the fabric of our perfect royal lives.
“That’s how I met your father. And look how it turned out with us? Don’t worry, Lu-lu; when the time comes, your father won’t force you into it. He’ll be patient with you. And you’ll meet someone who will see you when no else does, who will make you sink and fly all at once.”
Sink and fly, she had said. And after she died, all I’d wanted was to fly.
But after five years, I knew the most I would ever get was standing on the dock, closing my eyes, and pretending I still believed her.