The title of the book is Bones of the Earth: The Equilibrium Cycle Book 1, by Jason A. Gilbert.
The current description/blurb is as follows:
"Terus, beautiful city of the Confederacy, home to the Artisans, Gurdians, and Consuls. A place of balance. But, something festers within, changing that balance, something that threatens the foundations of the whole world.
All Laila ever worked for was to become a Citizen. A Consul like her father, or a Guardian like her mother. But on the eve of her test she meets a strange old man that forever changes that path.
Now she must seek the answers she needs and come to terms with what she has become, all before everything she's ever known comes crashing down around her."
Main character- Laila is the the daughter of a prominent politician and a member of the warrior caste. In the beginning of the story she is about to take her Test to determine her own place in the caste’s of Terus. Subsequent events force her to leave her home and learn how to control her new found powers, initially revolving around the earth.
She is a teenager, approximately 15 years old, with dark hair. A staff made of stone eventually becomes a prominent plot piece.
Cover Idea: My original thoughts revolved around a mountain, as the earth and a specific mountain play a prominent role in the plot. Throughout the course of the story a subtle conflict arises with a being of fire, so some sort of fire element with the mountain would be great, if it can be added without overwhelming the cover. If a shadowed/profile style image can be included to represent Laila, that would be good, but it is not necessary.
-Image for Laila
-Staff made of stone, preferably in Laila’s hands if included.
Additional notes: While the ideas above are relatively specific, I am open to anything that creatively fits the descriptions and story.
Links to covers I admire: