SXU Student Publishes Young Adult Fantasy Novel
Saint Xavier University (SXU) political science student Myah Bawadi has published her first book, "Infinity Legion." A young adult fantasy novel, "Infinity Legion" tells the story of Soleil Yamanu, a soldier who craves power and must prove her worth to become a second-in-command to a Knight of Infinity while an ancient prophecy looms in the distance, threatening the Infinite Knight Court. Through her journey, Soleil learns how much she stands to gain and how much she could lose in her quest for power.
"As an avid young adult fantasy reader, I'm always searching for the next book that will give me the special feeling you can only find in fantasy, and I think my book gives readers that feeling. It's filled with magic, prophecy, immortals, and battles and is full of twists and turns. It's very special," said Bawadi.
Since Bawadi was young, she's loved entertainment in all its forms, though books held a special place in her heart. After picking up her first young adult book at age 9, she's never stopped reading. Over time, she honed her craft and practiced writing short stories, children's books, poetry and essays, but she credits reading to what helped her most in writing.
Bawadi likes to think of her book as a combination of everything she loves. Inspiration struck for her during National Novel Writing Month in November 2021, where she penned 35,000 words. Her first draft was completed in January at well over 130,000 words. After sending off her manuscript to agents, she was swept into the world of publishing and is grateful for her team of editors, cover designers, formatters and artists, and she's especially thankful to have learned so much in the process and create something meaningful for others.
"I put my entire heart and soul into writing this book. It features a Middle Eastern main character, which is not a common occurrence in the fantasy genre. I've craved representation my entire life, and when I didn't get it, I decided to write it into existence myself, working through my own life experiences. In a way, I feel like I've written the book I've always wanted to read," said Bawadi.
Bawadi, who also minors in criminal justice, is vice president of SXU's Political Science Forum and an active member of the Pre-Law Association. She is a member of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Muslim Student Association (MSA). During her freshman year, she founded SXU's Drama Club. She has many favorite memories from her time at SXU, especially the Drama Club's production of "The Great Gatsby," which she co-wrote, co-directed and acted in.
Bawadi has always been fascinated with politics and spent time on speech, debate and extemporaneous speaking in high school, so her political science major at SXU seemed like a natural fit, and she feels she is being well-prepared for the future.
"My classes at SXU are helping me to become a more well-rounded person. I have taken so many different classes at SXU and have learned many different histories and ways of thinking. As I gear up to apply for law school, I've reflected on the learning I've done at SXU and feel proud of the ways I've developed," said Bawadi.
Bawadi, who will finish her degree at SXU early, plans to attend law school and become a lawyer. She is currently selecting voices for the audiobook and working on the second book in the "Infinity" series, enjoying diving back into the world she created. Her hope is for the series to be a trilogy.
"Infinity Legion" is available wherever books are sold. Fans can keep up with the author on TikTok at @MyahBawadiAuthor.