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The problem with being a writer is that the flood of ideas never really stops. During my one-year absence on Wattpad, I didn't stop writing altogether; on the contrary, I have now two projects running simultaneously apart from my The Dark Sorcerers series, both of which won't be published on Wattpad to increase my chances of getting at least one of them traditionally published one day. However, there is a third project which I do want to share with you guys.

The Hour of the Crow was originally meant to be the first installment in a series about gods, magic and ancient relics, each installment based on another fairy tale which hasn't been overly retold in YA literature already, such as Pocahontas or Mulan. I still intend to continue this series one day, though in another than its current version. When that will be, however, is still a big mystery.

That is why I want you guys' opinion on the idea for the series alone. The Hour of the Crow is an Aladdin-based story about a young, poor thief who uses his unusual magic to bend light to rob the homes of the rich. However, he's not being as inconspicuous as he thought, since one night, an unnerving band of cloaked strangers appears at his house with a tempting deal: retrieve the Amulet of Doom from the temple of the god of death and be awarded with so much coin that he won't have to worry about poverty ever again. What he doesn't know, though, is that the Amulet curses everyone who tries to steal it... And that is where our beautiful but hot-headed princess comes into view.

The first few chapters of the story have already been published on my profile, so feel free to check them out if the description above has piqued your curiosity. I've included the cover and a sneak peek below for those of you who are still hesitating:

 I've included the cover and a sneak peek below for those of you who are still hesitating:

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From Chapter 1: A Burglary in Broad Daylight:

Arran Dir Akhta perched on the roof of Villa D'Ohara and peeked over the edge at the sunlit patio below, where two guards slouched against white marble pillars in the late afternoon heat. One of them fished a colorful fan out of his pocket in an attempt to enjoy some cool air, although the tiny beads of sweat on his forehead and upper lip only seemed to increase in number. Arran's heightened senses picked up the vague stench of sweat on the warm breeze, and he scrunched his nose in disgust.

Focus. He continued to scan the open window frames, the patio doors and the balconies on the higher floors, memorizing the guards' positions and the blind spots in their vigilance. Most of Primsharah's criminals would think him a fool for robbing a house in broad daylight, but Arran found that most security guards were the least observant during hallup, when many shopkeepers and workers took a well-earned siesta until the sun started lowering again in the early evening. Guards naturally weren't granted the peace and quiet of a siesta, but that didn't stop them from napping in a standing position to fight the boredom of their job. Besides, Arran needed the sunlight to perform his usual trick which made him such an excellent burglar.

He shuffled across the reddish roof tiles, closer to a small balcony that led to the villa's right wing. The balcony itself was too cramped for a guard to be stationed, but he didn't doubt that one was lurking right behind the shutters that closed off the doorway. Blinking, he switched to what he called his Aura Vision, which allowed him to perceive energy and detect auras in a kaleidoscope of colors. Indeed, another guard's yellow aura swirled almost exactly below his feet. The aura's brightness suggested that it was a rather young man. A complacent grin tugged at the corner's of Arran's mouth, for younger guards were usually easier targets to take out. They weren't as experienced with magic-wielding burglars such as himself in the way that some older guards were.

Arran turned his face upward to the sun, relishing its soft, warm kisses on his skin. The wind played with the dark locks of his hair while he slowed down his breathing and concentrated on his own aura, orange like the furs of the tigers which lived in the Lelian Jungle. He moulded it into a protective coating wrapped tight around his body.

As a child, he had discovered his ability to reflect and distort light by accident, when he had hidden himself from his angry mother and her favorite weapon: a rolling pin. Years later, when he had begun to steal, it had turned out to be a handy talent in that particular line of work. How many thieves would pay hundreds of gold coins for the ability to become invisible at will?

Careful, Arran lowered himself onto the balcony. Years of experience had made his feet more soundless than a cat's paws; the guard behind the shutters was still ignorant of his presence. Arran reached into the pocket of his jacket and pulled out a stone the size of a small pearl. With pinpoint accuracy, he tossed the stone at an oil lamp resting on a windowsill about five paces away. A melodious clank echoed in the simmering air, too soft for the guards on the patio to notice, but loud enough to draw the young guard's attention. The guard's aura moved away from the shutters as he went to investigate the source of the noise, and Arran slipped inside the house unseen.

He sneaked down the long corridor, trusting his magical coating to hide him from suspicious eyes. The villa's interior was much more luxurious than its architecture let on, which was a common trait shared by many nobles' houses. The wall decorations alternated between large paintings in bright hues and magnificent tapestries with intricate patterns, woven from the most expensive of fabrics. Gritting his teeth, Arran contemplated how much even one of these tapestries would be worth on the black market if only he could carry it. Despite his tall, lean figure and broad shoulders, he knew from experience that stealing tapestries was a two-man job.

He proceeded down the corridor toward the master bedroom, which he had identified as such during one of his earlier observations of the villa. Not one but two guards flanked the curtained doorway; the owners of this house must keep quite the treasure in that room. Arran's heart leapt with excitement. The guards didn't notice him, of course; however, they might if he just tried to pass through the beaded curtain without distracting them first. He looked around the corridor and grinned when his eye fell upon a mirror. It hung on the wall opposite the guards, a bit to the left. Perfect.

You see, the funny thing about his magical ability was that, if he bent the light around him in the correct manner, the guards would see his reflection in the mirror while his physical form remained invisible to them. All he had to do was not to mess up his calculations.

"Habi Onshra, look over there!" The guard on Arran's left elbowed his colleague in the ribs, gesturing to the mirror with his chin. His eyes widened with something between surprise and fear. "Do you see it too, or is this insupportable heat giving me hallucinations?"

"Magi ilwah, what is that?" the other guard cried out, drawing his sword from its mediocre wooden scabbard. "Who are you? Show yourself!"

Arran's reflection waved at the guards as they approached the mirror with caution, passing the real Arran by a hair's breadth. He held his breath and reinstalled his protective coating before backing away, which caused his reflection to vanish once again. The guards stammered in protest, their hands feeling the mirror's silver surface as if they could return the image with it. Arran smothered an amused chuckle and tiptoed to the bedroom. The beads in the curtain rattled only a little when he slithered through.

Like the rest of the house, the master bedroom was pleasantly cool thanks to the sophisticated ventilation system. Arran thought about his own room, which he shared with his younger sister Adira, and the oppressive heat that always lingered in the air inside, even if they placed wooden boards in front of the windows to keep the warmth from seeping in. It was unfair how the simple matter of one's birth determined one's comfort. Standing in the middle of that room, which belonged to a noble with a blank face, Arran stared at the four-poster bed and wondered what this man or woman had done to deserve such riches.

He got to work. His silent, practiced fingers opened drawers and searched jewelry boxes, stuffing his belt pouch with bracelets, earrings, gemstones, coins and even a fine, silver tiara set with tear-shaped rubies. In his mind, he kept an account of his loot, calculating the prices of each object he stole. His rough estimates brought a smile on his face. This would be one of his most lucrative jobs in months.

A low hiss, like the whistling of a kettle, startled him. His head snapped up and his hands stilled, hovering over a gold necklace worth at least fifty gold coins. For a few breathless seconds, he stayed frozen in place while he listened for more strange sounds. When the silence stretched uninterrupted, he exhaled a relieved sigh and resumed his activities. Nevertheless, his heart palpitated with restless paranoia, the palms of his hands clammy with nervous sweat.

It was about time for him to head out anyway.

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