The Sign of Psyche

The Sign of Psyche is my fifth novel. It is young adult fantasy, set in the Greek Dark Ages. I enjoyed the research for this because I had to read a lot of books on the time period and on the history of the Greek language. (I took several masters-level courses in Koine Greek at Duke University, so this was just plain fun).

Here’s the query letter:

Eupeithis, a princess of Thespiai in the Greek Dark Ages, is on the run to escape her arranged marriage to a prince she neither knows nor loves. Her destination is Amazonia: the only land where women are free. Her mother’s blindness to her father’s unfaithfulness is the only example of love Eupeithis knows, and she fears Eros—the god of love—will make her just as blind.

But running away from marriage has consequences beyond the mortal realm. Furious that Eupeithis has spurned the gift of love he planned to give her, Eros curses Eupeithis and dooms her to fall in love with the first man she sees. Psyche, Eros’s wife, pities Eupeithis and ties a strip of cloth cut from her own clothing over the princess’s eyes. The blindfold bears Psyche’s sign so that only Eupeithis can remove it, and only when she chooses to face Eros’s curse.

A hunter named Orthios finds Eupeithis and chooses to lead her to freedom as a way to honor his deceased wife who had been forced to marry him. Yet, Eros will not allow Eupeithis to escape his curse so easily. As they journey across the Aegean landscape, Eupeithis and Orthios fight their way through Eros’s traps and other dangers of the Dark Age world.

All the while, Orthios proves himself the best friend Eupeithis has ever had. She realizes the cost Orthios is willing to pay for her freedom includes enslavement and death in Amazonia, and she is struck by the sacrificial nature of love: even love between friends. With their destination at hand, Eupeithis must choose the sacrifice she will allow: Orthios’s or her own.

The Sign of Psyche is complete at 86,800 words.

FYI: Eupeithis is pronounced you-PAY-this (th as in thistle or thespian).