DAEVABAD meets (Adult) WE HUNT THE FLAME in this feminist Ramayana retelling.
When her hometown’s tea harvest inexplicably rots, Maya, daughter of rebel leaders, ventures to the capital for answers. Amidst attempted regicide and the mysterious massacre of her village, she joins the endearing crown prince on a quest for answers and uncovers waking gods, unexpected love, and dark family secrets that could unleash divine wrath upon their kingdom.
The porcelain teacup was still hot to the touch when the queen was found dead, splayed at the foot of her bed.
She had fallen only a few steps from where she began a short-lived run, her body succumbing rapidly to its fate, fists clenching her heavy gold-embroidered skirt, legs tangled in the gossamer lining, sticking out at morbid angles as knees grazed red from continuous prayer buckled under familiar pressure. Before she could complete her last valiant attempt at escape—a single finger clawed the crimson rug upon which she was to be found—her body groaned and stilled. Not even the air in the room dared to move over a scene so sacred.
It was a further insult to the servant that made the unfortunate discovery that her blood curdling scream was swallowed by the room’s gilded walls, as if news so violent could not be left to something as base as a primal cry for help. This would require intentional dissemination; an artful address that mimicked its severity. Footsteps hurried down the carpeted corridors, each call amplified as word traveled through the stone walls of the palace, morphed through interferences of imagination and tendencies of exaggeration, then hushed as attention shifted to propriety following the initial period of overwhelming fright.
…all that lovely color now a pallid and cruel white…
…blood splatters on the carpet…
…all alone too…