Be yourself; everyone else is already taken - Oscar Wilde

Simon's Oath

Where desert wasteland meets raging sea, people die hard, fast and young, but fourteen-year-old Simon doesn’t care about other people, or even about himself. All that matters is protecting his ten-year-old brother, Hector. Everything else can get sunk.

Orphaned, sold, and forced to dredge silt from the local river, Simon is fast to talk his way into a safer job in the red district. Hired by a brothel madam to rehabilitate her daughter, Simon thinks he’s made a good bargain until they meet twelve-year-old Faith. The girl doesn’t talk, she only screams, bites, and lashes out whenever someone gets close. Turning Faith into a normal person seems impossible and the madam has only given them four weeks. If they succeed, they will be fed and clothed until they reach adulthood, but if they fail, they’ll be sold back into indentured slavery where a single slip could mean their death.

Desperate to keep his brother safe, he uses whatever tricks he can to keep Faith’s interest, even when it puts her in danger or he is beaten by the madam’s hand. As the deadline draws closer and Simon’s careful plans begin to fall apart, he must choose where his loyalties lie and which promises he must break. 

Told in alternating viewpoints between Simon and Hector, SIMON’S OATH is a 73,000 word upper-MG Fantasy in which two brothers survive by their wits as they struggle, separate, and test the fragile, familial bonds that both tie them together and weigh them down.