The Girl in the Mirror
During her coming of age ceremony, sixteen-year-old Daela finds out she's barren—she has no magic in her. Still, she never expected her father to disown her, or her brother to refuse to help her, but life turned out to be full of kicks to the teeth.
If trading her childhood mansion for a tiny hole in the city's slums wasn't easy, getting her hands on the rare medicine she needs for her seizures redefines difficult. When an accident destroys her hidden stash, Daela's only hope is Ash, her brother's favorite smuggler and the thief who'd stolen her first kiss.
But getting in touch with her old life only brings her more trouble. Her brother is taken by the Daci, a long-forgotten enemy, and she's the sole witness. The only one who doesn't dismiss her story as the ravings of a barren freak is Ash, and the jerk holds her medicine hostage until she helps him infiltrate the Daci's desert prison.
Her brother's traitorous behind isn't worth teaming up with Ash, but her meds are—and she'll need his help to warn her people that the Daci are coming. But when Daela learns that her magic was deliberately destroyed by her family, loyalties become murky, and the Daci turn out not to be the nastiest monster in the story.
First 150 Words:
"Your roomie looks like she's two minutes away from stabbing that guy."
I fumbled with the glass I was drying. "What?"
"Or puking on him." Kemal cocked his head. "Maybe both."
I followed his gaze to Naji, her tray held precariously on one hand while she tried to fend off the hand pawing at her thigh. Her expression was hard to see through the smoke from the burning mischi, but the brittle line of her shoulders didn't bode well.
"Don't do anything stupid," he said. "She can take care of herself."
While Naji's touch of the Charm Gift wasn't strong enough to force anyone to do her bidding—not even the annoying dog that kept barking under our window at all hours of the day— she normally would have no trouble getting rid of unwanted attention.
"No, she can't," I said. "Not this time."