Synopses & Reviews
A yuan-ti child--a pureblood who looks entirely human except for some very subtle snakelike characteristics--is found alone in a jungle ruin by a passing (and heavily-guarded) caravan of traders who harvest a rare addictive flower from the jungle for trade in a nearby city.
The head of the caravan takes in the child, not realizing its inhuman origins. The child grows up with the caravan believing herself to be human and learning both tradecraft and how to survive in the jungle, but she begins to have dreams of snakes and other racial-memory things, possibly even visions from a deity. After forcing her mother to admit she's adopted, she runs away from home to seek out her origins, but she is pursued by her adopted human "brother" who wants to bring her home.
They find the ruins where she was discovered as a child, and she discovers her true nature. She's horrified, but also enraged when she discovers denizens of the Underdark stole away the other yuan-ti from her settlement, including her real family, to use as slaves. She ventures into the Underdark to try and rescue any survivors from her "real" family.
Child of prophecy? Harbinger of Doom
Zaltys is a girl like any other to grow up ranging thejungles of the Southern Lluirwood. She’s a crack shot with a bow and no stranger to the dangers that lurk beneath the deep forest canopy.
On expedition with her family to harvest the forbidden terazul flower, a powerful drug that has gathered many a dreamer into its narcotic embrace, Zaltys is about to unearth a truth long buried by the feculent loam of deception.
As the veil is lifted on the world Zaltys thought she knew, a pathway to the Underdark promises the answers her family never gave. Venturing forth in search of truth, Zaltys finds betrayal to be a much easier quarry. But it will take more than a lode of lies to quell the venom in her veins.
About the Author
Tim Pratt, an editor for Locus Magazine, lives in Oakland, California, with his wife, Heather Shaw and their son River. His fiction and poetry have appeared in The Best American Short Stories: 2005, The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, Strange Horizons, Realms of Fantasy, Asimov's, Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, and Year's Best Fantasy, among many others.