New SF Canada member Janine Cross's fantasy novel, Touched by Venom, Book 1 in the Dragon Temple Saga, will be released November 1 by ROC.
From the book jacket:
Like her half-breed mother, young Zarq Darquel can't always hold her tongue as she should. A lowly peasant on a large dragon estate in Malacar, she goes unnoticed by the watchful eye of the Temple of the Dragon, despite her rebellious ways--until she accidentally captures the attention of an eccentric and dangerous dragonmaster and unleashes a storm of tragedy. Her clan is plunged into destitution, her beautiful sister, Waivia, sold into slavery, and her mother lost to madness.
Desperate to find Waivia, Zarq and her delirious mother flee through the underworld of their land--from the Zone of the Dead do a sanctuary for outcast dragons, through discovery and persecution. Consumed with the desire for revenge, Zarq develops a taste for the highly addictive venom drawn from the dragons she has been taught to revere, and sinks into a realm of bizarre magics. Here, influenced by the divine grace of dragon memories, Zarq glimpses possibilities of revenge and social revolution. But to achieve them, she must defy not just the sexual taboos and patriarchal conventions of her society, but the Emperor who rules her nation....
Publishers' Weekly is calling it "a bold debut... a grim but fascinating coming-of-age tale.... richly detailed, a well imagined world," and Jacqueline Carey (author of Kushiel's Dart) says: "Touched by Venom, the first volume in Janine Cross' Dragon Temple Saga, is a compelling and harrowing journey, set in a vividly rendered world alive with detail."