Book Jacket


rank  Editors Pick
word count 24514
date submitted 05.03.2010
date updated 10.08.2010
genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult
classification: universal


A.B. Knight

Everyone knows the rule: stay inside the Wall, but to sixteen-year-old Tisha Tremayne, the city of Relic isn't a sanctuary. It's a prison.


Tisha does not believe the Realm Riders' stories about the monsters that lurk beyond the city. Every day she looks at the steep, towering wall that surrounds the city of Relic, and she swears she will find out what lies on the other side.

She never stopped to think that she might see too much.

When her father is taken by inhuman attackers, Tisha realises the worlds beyond the Wall are more dangerous than anyone imagined. With the help of the Realm Riders, including her best friend Cayle and the charismatic Falco, she sets out to unravel the mysteries surrounding Relic and return her father to her side.
Complete manuscript approx. 96,000 words. First five chapters uploaded to Authonomy.

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action, adventure, battles, demons, dragons, evil, fantasy, good, heroine, knights, magic, realms, relic, swords, teen, young adult

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HarperCollins Wrote

You’ve got a great, fun premise here and a lot of edge-of-your-seat thrills in Relic and I had a great time reading your novel. There’s a lot of things that work really well here – I think Tisha is an interesting and engaging character, I think the high-stakes are quite compelling, and I like the various jobs within the world and the way we hear about them and see them through Tisha’s eyes.

I do feel like there’s room for improvement here, in order to help this stand out for teens and draw in readers. I would encourage you to work more on building the world – both inside and outside the wall. I wanted a clearer picture of what Tisha’s world inside the wall looks like, how it feels, what the other people are like. It’s great that you throw us right into the action, but it left me feeling a little removed from the world itself. I’d also love more details about the Realm Riders’ home/training castle. I wanted to feel like I could picture their surroundings, and really understand how different it was from Tisha’s old home, and I feel like you can do a lot more to really bring that to life. I’d also love to know more about the rules of the world – how many people can and do use magic? How often are people plucked from obscurity to become Realm Riders? Who is in charge and how are they chosen? Do the people realize that they are constantly in danger of running out of food and comfort? As you go through and work on the manuscript, I’d encourage you to concentrate on bringing Tisha’s surroundings to life – the world of your novel needs to feel like a character in the story.

I was also a little confused about some aspects of our main character. Let’s start with Falco. When he’s introduced he feels much older than Tisha; I kept thinking of him as an adult (almost equating him with Tisha’s dad!), and I feel like it would be more interesting if he felt younger throughout, more on Tisha’s level. I was also a little thrown off by Cayle. When we first hear about him, we hear that he spent the first few months that he was with the Realm Riders pining for Tisha. But then when she sees him, there isn’t even a hint of romantic tension. I wish that there could be more chemistry there, more appeal – we need to see something, especially in Cayle. Maybe a hint of desire in his eyes, or even some hinting, half-finished sentences?

I was also confused about why Tisha wasn’t considered “magical” even when they realized that she could see the breaches and she could smell magic. We’re told very clearly that those abilities are both quite unique, but yet she’s referred to as just a regular human with no magical ability. I wonder whether that can be reconciled?

Lastly, I would encourage you to pay careful attention to your dialogue and language. Most of your novel feels very classic, as if this is happening in a parallel, past world, but there are a few moments (like when Tisha says “Sucks to be me”) which feel undeniably modern and a little out of the blue.

I think you have a great start here and I would strongly encourage you to keep working on the manuscript.

A Knight wrote 1325 days ago

Reply to HC Review:

It is great to finally have some concrete feedback and areas of improvement from someone within the publishing industry. I shall bear these thoughts in mind as I continue to improve both Relic and work on other projects. Thank you for taking the time to read this section of Relic, and for your active encouragement to both improve and continue with this work.

All the best,
A.B. Knight

bageek wrote 1374 days ago

This is ... amazing, and I haven't even read it all yet.
I've pretty much followed your stories ever since you joined FF.Net, since your first one, "Honest", and from then on, you've been one of the best writers I've ever come across - that includes fan fiction and books that are already published. I've been following your stories for years and it's just the way you do things that hasn't got me bored (wow, sounds kind of stalker-ish). I don't know what it is, but you *got* it.
You have this thing for words that other writers just lack; you know when to give the readers just that little bit more to keep them going.
The introduction was perfect. You know exactly what to do to spark curiosity - for example, our first encounter with "the Wall" in one of the initial paragraphs. The Wall is purposely presented with a capital W. Why has it got a capital? Is that particular wall special in some way? Then, after we read on and discover the purpose of the wall, we're presented with the rule. Why is the rule in place? Is it really that dangerous on the outside?
Your descriptions are well worded, and the scenery is described to the point of closing your eyes and being there. It's full of drama, and the action flows to make you sit on the edge of your seat. There are bits of humour in there as well, just little giggles to make sure the story isn't *too* suspenseful.
But most important of all, it's believable.
Most novels have characters that go through no development whatsoever - the MC is described fully at the beginning and soon the reader expects something of them, and is never surprised. Also, other novels with fantasy cities or worlds are sometimes just too much for the author to handle. However, you've given us a bit of insight to each character at the beginning, slowly adding to their personalities while the story progresses, eventually turning them into sophisticated people with their own quirks, flaws, strengths, goals, ideas, problems and mannerisms.
Also, for Tisha, tiny little things like not knowing how to do things - for example, sew or ride a horse - make her even more real. She's an average girl, just a maid, and she only knows how to do things that are within the criteria of her job and everyday life. It annoys me when novels have these average people that know how to do tasks that, in reality, average people would never know how to do, unless they were *meant* to or purposely *taught* to (in most cases they weren't).
And the city - oh gosh. I *died* of happiness when you made magic so believable. I *love it* how you made Tisha with a disgusted, somewhat hated outlook on magic. It makes it so much more realistic. Most people hate what there's too much of, and this goes to show that magic is so commonplace in Relic, some people are *sick* of it. In some fantasy novels, some of the characters have a "Wow, magic!" sort of attitude - which makes it boring for me. Other people love the whole idea of the wow-ish factor in novels, but personally, it's not for me. There are only a few novels which does this attitude well.
Also, more ranting about the city. Tisha mentions "Realm Riders" and "Watchers" casually, yet again without a "Wow!" attitude. Makes it all the more believable. I love it.
I really wish I had time to read the rest of it right now, but I will as soon as I can. So far, I'm up to when Falco apologizes to Tisha, when everyone is riding the horses.
This is awesome, it really, really is. I'm getting all my friends to try and get you to the well-deserved top (: . I just want to give you a big, big hug for your work.

Hope you make it!
Lots of love.

Kaychristina wrote 1420 days ago

A literary fantasy for all, Abi. You've created a very real world within one of dark, magical happenings, and a heroine in Tisha all teenage girls will want to be. Those girls, and older women, it has to be said, will fantasise about being grabbed, heaved over a shoulder and ultimately saved by the divine Falco - a knight of a Realm Rider if ever there was one.

You've created this world, building up very quickly through what first appears a real, perhaps medaeval one, into another that is, by all realms of the imagination, a distinct possibility... By Tisha's astonishment when she first sees outside this monster of a Wall, so we are astonished with her, believing what she sees and sharing that astonishment.

And I can smell the franchise... as will HC, I hope! All I can offer is a backing, and wish you great success.

Kay xx ("Annacara")

Cherry G. wrote 1472 days ago

This is good!
An exciting start that skillfully introduces Tisha as the MC without slowing the action, and also alerts the reader to the wonderfully named Realm Riders, Watchers and the Wall. Tisha's eye patch is mentioned but as yet, the reader doesn't know what has to be hidden. All very mysterious!
It promises a lot and it soon delivers. Climbing up the steps , with the green light of the everflame lighting her way, she's stopped from peering over the Wall by the charismatic Sargeant Falco. The remainder of the chapter is action packed as magical monsters attack from over the Wall.
There are four main hooks that keep the reader engrossed at the end of Chapter 1. What is the threat from outside the wall and can Tisha's father be rescued? Why can Tisha see things the others can't and what is the magic that Falco appears to use on her?
The next chapters continue with the same high quality writing and the danger to Tisha mounts as she is forced to become a Realm Rider and endure the training. And Tisha's interest in Falco grows..
This is well written with a powerful and likeable heroine in Tisha plus many more believable characters. You've conjured up a magical world which feels very real. Impressive.
I think this could be very popular with teenage girls. (And others...I enjoyed it) I can see it as a film and with spinoffs such as games and T.shirts etc.
Hope this does as well as it deserves to do.
I will back RELIC tonight.
Cherry G.
Sister: One Woman's Journey through thre Trojan War

RobRow wrote 1472 days ago


I think you've got something here. Relic is a very engaging story, and quite interesting--even to a reader like me, who rarely samples this genre. But the reality you create is very believable, your characters are well drawn, and the writing style is exceptionally strong. I believe all of these elements give you more than a decent chance at publication, and I'm happy to lend my support. Backed with pleasure.

By the way, I caught just one error in Ch. 1, a missing word at the end of this sentence: “Black slabs of rock made up the steep, inner face, and the only two gates were carved from wood so old it had turned as dark as the stone around its.”

All the best,

Adam Thurstman wrote 663 days ago

Dear How to Fail Supporter,

Here at the How to Fail support team we have been greatly encouraged by the developing lack in failure of our book’s progress, thanks to the ongoing support of all our members. You’re support too has not gone unnoticed. Please let us make you fully aware of our gratitude and thanks for all your kind efforts and everything you have done in continuing to partner with us.

It’s is our hope, dream and wish that soon everyone will be able to know how to fail, in a way that they have never known before; so that others will only be able to look on in awe at what a complete mess they have made of their lives.

Yours faithfully,
The team

Adam Thurstman wrote 668 days ago

What about me, everyone I know has just died and I've only got seconds to live, please back me!!!
Only kidding, everything’s fine; relax!

I saw you comment on 'How to fail' and and wondered if you wanted to help me back it again, it's so funny. If so it's on my book shelf.


Famlavan wrote 740 days ago

Hey Abi - How's it going - Published yet (if not I'm surprised) - If you get chance can you have a look at a kids book I've put up - Catch you soon - Ian

Geneva Wilkins wrote 752 days ago

Very well written, my daughter who read most of it says you need to upload more chapters :)

XIII wrote 764 days ago

I came across your book today and enjoy it. Good luck with your goals for it, so far, I'm still reading and enjoying it.

A.C. Wilson wrote 827 days ago

I've really enjoyed this book so far. I would LOVE to read more and find out what happens next.
Tisha is a highly amusing character in her stubborness and her insistance on doing what she feels is right, or best, no matter the costs. That can be a very good, or a very bad trait in a person, as she is quickly beginning to learn.
Falco, though, is my favorite so far. Amused by her, friendly, but with his own ulterior motives for everything. He didn't lie to her, nor was he completely honest. One day he's going to end up telling her about his sister, but she may accidently let it slip that she knows about his sister first.
I found this to be such a compelling story that I stayed up well past the time I should have been in bed, as I have things to do tomorrow.
A very compelling story. Keep up the good work.

Simon R. Willis wrote 881 days ago

Excellent start! Would love to read more. As a fantasy writer myself I'm always on the look out for a new world to see. I thought yours could have had more detail in the first 2 chapters - just small things like describing the surroundings, the smells, the peoples, what they wear etc etc. Great start though, keep it up!

ccb1 wrote 1279 days ago

The editor’s desk, was it worth? Was your book reviewed by HarperCollins? Did you receive a book publishing offer, or have other publishing houses expressed and interest in you book? We have found the comments and suggestions from the other authors on Authonomy helpful in revising our book, but were just curious as to the benefits of landing at the top.
CC Brown
Dark Side

BenGalley wrote 1305 days ago

Congratulations on a great and intriguing novel! As a fantasy writer myself I love to enter other people's worlds and yours is very imaginative. I love the Realm Riders and your use of magic as well, and the cover is great! Nothing like a spot of complete heterochromia in your lead character to inspire a bit of interest :) Truly looking forward to read the rest.

Kindest regards,

Ben Galley (formerly of Winchester)
The Written

Amy Smith wrote 1320 days ago
RonParker wrote 1321 days ago

Hi A.B,

I see you've managed to get to the top without needing my help. Cogratualtions and good luck with whatever happens next - hopefully, publication at some stage.

It's easy to see why your story made it to the desk. It's great.


A Knight wrote 1325 days ago

Reply to HC Review:

It is great to finally have some concrete feedback and areas of improvement from someone within the publishing industry. I shall bear these thoughts in mind as I continue to improve both Relic and work on other projects. Thank you for taking the time to read this section of Relic, and for your active encouragement to both improve and continue with this work.

All the best,
A.B. Knight

Bonofied1 wrote 1327 days ago

Wow. I just finished what you have posted here and I am wishing I could find out what happens!

Bonofied1 wrote 1327 days ago

I haven't even completed this yet, but my goodness WHAT A GREAT STORY! I am already picturing a full length motion picture to portray this story! AWESOME! This should definitely be published...and I would be one of the first to purchase!

Cheryl A. Thompson
'Whispers From My Heart'

michaelshortland wrote 1327 days ago

OK but rather predictable fabtasy story.

CG Fewston wrote 1352 days ago


crazy mama wrote 1352 days ago


M.R.HYDE wrote 1354 days ago

Congratulations! I'm so glad it got to the top!

Tom Bye wrote 1355 days ago

hi a b ; RELIC'

philip john wrote 1356 days ago

Well done, Abi! You made it!

Best wishes Philip John

MonicaEmme wrote 1356 days ago

I'm so excited for you! Please, please, please tell us, or at least me when it is published I really would like to read the rest. (I recruited friends, fans, and crit partners to come back your book also during last months rounds but alas it wasn't enough.) Glad you made it this time around though!

Alonwi Carrovella wrote 1356 days ago


Ra Ra Radek wrote 1357 days ago

Especially enjoyed the visual imagery of this – the original eloquent similes (“like invisible oil, slicking her skin with its touch” for example). A cracking story written with tremendous flair and exciting vitality.

Amberly wrote 1357 days ago

Hi Abi

Just finished the first five chapters - you have got to get this this published because i have got to finish reading it!

I am so hoping for a romance between tisha and falco!

Absolutely addicted and unable to sleep now!


Amberly wrote 1357 days ago

Hi Abi,

i know you've had a heap of comments and that it's already infront of an editor but i just noticed that halfway down chapter 3 you have falco letting Tisha go twice - a typo?



fh wrote 1357 days ago


The AssassinsVillage

celticwriter wrote 1357 days ago

Hi AB. Have returned to your novel. Still enjoying your story telling. And just in case it didn't register first time, I'm backing again.


Roland Mann wrote 1358 days ago

Reminiscent of HUNGER GAMES...and that's a GOOD thing! I like what you're doing.

Keri Kern wrote 1358 days ago

I backed your book a while ago but I enjoyed it so much I am backing you again so you stay in the top 5. Good luck!
Keri Kern

Leo Sebastian wrote 1359 days ago

The way you use magic in the beginning as something you feel rather than ye old wizards shooting fireballs was fantastic. It creates the feel of "this is different" and makes you want more.

Good luck in the editor's desk and thanks for the backsies ;)

Amberly wrote 1359 days ago

Hi Abi

So far just great - amazing intro!

You've a lot of comments so you proabably already know this - sorry about that.

chapter 1, "taking two steps back and breaking into a run" i thought she was running away - because she just took 2 steps back? a bit confusing.

I can't wait to read the rest.

Great job


LeClerc wrote 1359 days ago

I have back this before and I think it deserves another go.

Danny Murphy

dondyke wrote 1359 days ago

I love adventures... this one looks to me like fresh palm wine too strong to ignore. The title of a story is like the nail, the plot is the hammer, you are hitting the hammer on the nail.... N.D.W.DIKE aka dondyke.

tomkepler wrote 1360 days ago

Added your book back to my shelf, hoping to help you for these last days of the month. Good luck!
PS: I have a second book uploaded, Love Ya Like a Sister.

heaven-sa wrote 1360 days ago

Unreservedly backed. I've read chapter 1 and I would LOVE to read the whole book. Brilliant!!!

korvet wrote 1360 days ago

Excellent opening action and chapter structure, keeps you reading. Great narrative flow, propels the reader along matched with detailed character and scene descriptions allows you to see the action, like a movie playing in your head. I had to be asked to look at this, I won't need to be asked to read All OF IT. RJ. Kain The Chronos Gambit.

Rachel Bull wrote 1360 days ago

Hi, I have only read the first two chapters but am already hooked! Your story is fast paced and throws the reader into the action immediately, I loved it. Good luck

Eunice Attwood wrote 1361 days ago

I have backed your book again but thought I had done so already. Sorry about that.

R.A. Baker wrote 1361 days ago

This not your typical fantasy. I appreciate the considerable time and effort you must have spent creating your own mythology from scratch. Watchers, Realm Riders, the Wall--all great concepts and well executed.. This book is highly ranked a good reason: it's an excellent read!

Best wishes and success,

R.A. Baker

T. L. Bartush wrote 1362 days ago

You don't need comments now, (THE ED IS LOOMING!) you need backing (sorry about the outburst) so thank you for backing Bleak House Bleak Shed. I'm happy to reciprocate.

T. L. Bartush

Nursing Around wrote 1362 days ago

absolutely brilliant.

Nursing Around wrote 1362 days ago

if i continue to read i'm going to be angry that the whole manuscript isn't here. This is damned brilliant. The best work I've read here, and as good as any fantasy I've read on the market. If the editors don't agree to publish you, it's their loss as I'm sure it's only a matter of time before you hit the big time.

AoiKazeToMidoriAme wrote 1362 days ago

Wow, I really got immersed into the story by the end of the 5th chapter. I think at times though, the conversation seems a touch too modern youth ish, but, it is a young adult book, so maybe thats a good thing. It's been a while since I've been a teen, and fantasy dialogue can be difficult that way. But, really, absolutely fantastic story. I really want to write more successfully myself, and I am playing with teh plot for my own fantasy novel right now. Since high school I've not really written, but what I have churned out has been FF. I went through some rough times at 18 right as I was coming into my own in the craft, and in the 6 years since haven't been able to write work I've been comfortable with. Anyway, I really like this. I'm not sure how this site works, but I assume it is a still unpublished manuscript. I think its already great, and after a little bit of some editing can be fantastic. Although I'm an adult who started reading adult literature before he reached high school, I think perhaps today young adult fiction and especially fantasy remains my favorite genre. There is something so powerful about coming of age and the honor of fantasy protagonists and paragons that is so powerful. I think you've got a fantastic and rather adroitly flawed character here in this novel, with the perfect cast to help her out around her. I really strongly wish you luck, and I hope this story makes it. I'll buy a copy when it does, cause it will. It deserves it.

Roxanne Kade wrote 1363 days ago

Well first off I have to say congrats on being on the ED! Only a few days to go. You deserve your spot as you are a highly talented and accomplished writer.
The very first time I logged on to this site, your book was one of the first to grab my attention. Your cover is beautiful and promises something more than just the normal fantasy fiction novel. Your pitch really draws a person in and you just can't help but want to read more.
Best of luck. I'm going to add you back to my shelf to show my support as I really believe you deserve to be published.

nsllee wrote 1363 days ago

Hi Abi

I'm not surprised this is on the Ed's Desk. Great pitch, great idea, great opening chapter, full of tantalising ideas and questions to keep you reading. I love the idea of the massive ancient wall. Falco's sexy. I can't work out why Tisha has to keep one of her eyes covered, but it doesn't matter which one. My only hesitation is that Tisha annoys me. I guess I'm getting a bit fed-up of feisty heroines who don't care about their looks. But the rest is so good I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and read on, to see if she grows on me. Backed.

Nicole (Chosen)

Dom-inatez wrote 1363 days ago

This is a fab book I would love to read the rest of it, you are very talented. Book backed Happily.

rachaelfiona wrote 1363 days ago

I thought this was a truly engaging read. Tisha is thoroughly three dimentional and I found I genuinely cared what happened to her. The world of Relic and the outside of the wall makes for a great setting for such a story. I am only disappointed I didn't get to find out what happens next!

fletcherkovich wrote 1364 days ago

A.B. Knight-

This is a one of a kind book in this site. The story is well polished and the language is just so magical. I love it.

Michael Oakes wrote 1364 days ago

Excellent. Reminds me of The City of Ember. There’s the whole mystery aspect of what’s outside the city, and also a young girl character that immediately engages the reader. Very well written.

Bonzo147 wrote 1366 days ago

This is very impressive...a real page turner....there's only one way for it to go and that's up...well done...backed with pleasure.
Violet Hiccup