A Peek at the Opening of Children of the Spider


…The hillside where she crouched was exposed to the eyes of the enemy, with just a few mossy and pungent boulders for cover, but the men never looked up from under their hoods, bent in prayer around the fountain below. They lit flambeaus and put them out again in an order only they understood. Seven of the Brothers wore black robes. The eighth wore red and carried a spear.In the land of her mother’s grave and her father’s memory, a girl waited.

When had she last eaten? There were candyberries in the offering plates next to the fires. Her father had told her about real candy once, when she was a much smaller girl. Her little self had marveled at the idea of candy that was actually sweet. The name ‘candyberry’ started as a joke, her father had explained. Tonight, the girl on the hillside was still not fully grown, but she knew that the time for growing up was over.

In the land of cloudfire, snakeskin houses and hardwater roads, a girl waited.

The stars of the Fisherman had frozen in place, glowing brighter as the moon rose into the center of the constellation. It was almost time. The girl hoped Jalana and the rest of the rocksliders were hiding in the right place. She hoped that they would keep their word. She wondered if she could keep hers.

The man in the red robe lifted his spear to the sky and the water in the fountain exploded with golden light. The girl ran down the hill, bare feet on rocky ground. Which of them would see her first?

The biggest one. Why did it have to be the biggest one?

The man’s head came up, then his robed hand, pointing as he screeched the alarm.

Building on the myths of old, Children of the Spider is the tale of a lost girl who seeks the power to stop a great evil. Her quest carries her across modern-day Guyana as she gains allies and dodges the monstrous fanatics who enslaved her people.

The manuscript for Children of the Spider won the 2015 Burt Award for Caribbean Literature. The novel is available now.

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