Helios is a world with no sunshine, and even less prospects for women in society. On the eve of her graduation from primary school and a week away from her marriage to her betrothed, Lucienne Chantos finds herself wondering if she could ever be happy with the life laid out for her. On a whim, she decides to leave the city and journey to the Sun-Walker – the provider of the singular light sources for the whole city of Helios. Her decision is life-changing…and life-threatening. The Sun-Walker, a foreigner not taken by the strict laws of Helios, accepts Lucienne as his apprentice based on her talented eye, but the consequences for their actions send ripples through the rigid lifestyle of those in Helios.

The Sun-Walker and his illegitimate apprentice narrowly escape with their lives from Lucienne’s six months of training. They flee the city as exiles in the company of Lucienne’s loyal “dragon,” the Sun-Creature, Solveig. Spending eight months of asylum in the drastically different world of Agaar, Lucienne discovers that worlds and customs exist that are entirely unlike the ways of her homeland. Her journey into reconciliation with Helios is as important as the impact she has on the ways of her people.

With major feminist undertones, this vivid, action-packed fantasy explores what it takes to break out of the expectations of society and what is learned and lost along the way.


This is the longest novel I have ever completed. I also feel more strongly about this story than any I have written really since “Redefining Evil.” I believe this is a marketable story which I would either pitch as one length novel (preferably) or else as three short novels making up a trilogy. I really believe in Lucienne as a character and I learned a lot about her as I followed her journey out of and ultimately back into Helios. My own travels were really important in digging into her travels out of Helios. My original goal for the story was to tell a story about a girl that finds her “something” rather than her “someone” and I truly believe I accomplished that goal. I pushed myself into uncharted territory by having a female lead in a lengthy story, and working with her until I actually respected her (female characters are tough for me).

I also set down my original efforts to include any recurring characters and so literally every character in here was created for the story rather than being lifted from somewhere else. And finally, I backed away from that attitude of disdain Lucienne had for Helios during my original drafts because I realized myself that it’s not maturation to loathe someone’s lifestyle just because it isn’t the same as yours.

This is a story I would want to read if I picked it up at a bookstore. However, unfortunately I had some feedback that Levi is a bit of an “exotic colored person” stereotype in some degrees and that made me really deflated since that’s a big part of the whole energy of the contrasting worlds.

recurring characters

Overall, Sun-Walking showcases entirely original characters. Originally, the Sun-Walker’s sibling was Micah, but I gender-swapped him into Elizabeth and can’t really count that anymore. There’s also an Andrew cameo on the Council of Elders (I don’t remember what I actually called them), but he’s kind of a dick (I mean what else is new).