The Mask of Tamirella
Author: Dana Davis
Sixteen-year-old Caitlanna Mullen lives in a harsh world where technology no longer exists. In her post-
apocalyptic society, she salvages artifacts for trade. One artifact is especially desired - The Mask of
Tamirella. Cait steals the Mask from another sanction, putting her own at risk. As punishment, the Elders
send her to a hazardous dig. She must travel through a mutant forest without becoming a sacrifice and
into Rotted City, where toxic ruins hoard an ancient disease. To complicate matters, the man she loves
accompanies her group. Because of their age differences, an intimate relationship with him is strictly
forbidden and would bring severe punishment, perhaps even exile. Cait’s life takes an unexpected turn
when she uncovers secrets she never imagined.
Will this sixteen-year-old survive in a place where death and injury are daily concerns? Can she quell her
feelings for a man forbidden to touch her until she’s older? Or will her confrontations with mutants and
toxic ruins cause her demise? One thing is certain - the secrets Caitlanna uncovers will change her world
Something moved in the darkness ahead and Caitlanna froze. Several curses rested on her lips but she
kept silent. Had she been discovered? The movement grew closer and her heart pounded in her ears.
Dizziness threatened and she pressed one dirty hand against the cave wall to steady herself. If she
extinguished her clay lamp, could she see well enough to get away from an attacker? Would he turn her
in before he raped her? Probably not. Her father’s sword rested against her back and she shifted it, the
heaviness reassuring her. She had let the others believe she knew how to use it.
When a ratmouse scrambled past her with a noisy piece of something glimmering from its teeth, she let
out a relieved snicker, and wondered whether she could keep her composure much longer. She ignored
the pile of useless jewels and reached a shaky hand into the crevice. Her heart thudded against her ribs.
Concentrate, she told herself. Don’t drop it. You can do this.
She pushed sweat and stray hairs from her brow with the single swipe of her arm and withdrew the
treasure from its tiny tomb. Lamp light reflected on the face looking back at her. The Mask of Tamirella. It
was here, just as her father had suspected. She forced her hand steady as she clasped the famed
artifact and drew it from its time-rotted box.
Caitlanna cradled the find as a new mother would hold her infant. So small was the Mask, barely as large
as her hand, and the pale features as delicate as a young child’s. She fingered the ancient, brittle
material and wondered at such craftsmanship. Tears flooded her eyes, blurring her vision. She blinked
hard and wished that her father had lived to see this. He’d searched his entire life for the Mask only to
meet his premature death in a cave-in.
Dana Davis is a four time award-winning author of fantasy and science fiction. Her
previously published books include the adult paranormal fantasy Desert Magick:
Superstitions and the teen sci-fi The Mask of Tamirella. During her college years, she had
the good fortune to study with Nebula Award-winner Sheila Finch and received her creative
writing degree from California State University, Long Beach. <br> <br>When she's not writing, she loves
to read and travel. Just try to keep her away from ruins and old cemeteries. Dana lives in the Arizona
desert with her husband and two insane birds, where she is currently writing another book. She invites
readers to visit her website at www.danadaviswriting.com <br>