Elevate Fiction, 9781945449215, 552pp.
Publication Date: June 6, 2017
Set in a land where magic has faded into the stuff of legend, and a corrupt council dominates the realm, Birthrights is a story that grapples with the concept of the truth - following two young men who are navigating its shifting sands in a world on the brink of civil war.
The son of a street sweeper and last in line of a disgraced family, Whym has grown up in the RatsNest slum of the capital. In the hopes of escaping his father's fate, he accepts an apprenticeship to be a seeker - something akin to a modern-day bounty hunter. Soon, he finds himself entangled in a web of treachery and set forth on a perilous journey across the Lost Land to locate a creature of myth and magic - a journey that will not only transform Whym, but shape the future of the realm.
Meanwhile, Quint - the privileged son of a powerful religious leader who has been groomed to inherit his father's role - abandons his faith to join the fight against a corrupt council. As the adviser to a remote tribe in the Fringe, Quint must find within himself the wisdom and fortitude to save the people from the invading army - and their own leaders.
Told in alternating perspectives against a backdrop of heightening civil unrest, Birthrights tracks Whym and Quint as they are forced to distill what they believe, and decide on whose side they will stand in the coming conflict. The first installment in McNeal's four-part Revisions to the Truth series, Birthrights is all at once a heart-pounding page-turner and a thoughtful, timely meditation on the unwieldy nature of the truth.