Press Release: Orbit and Riot Games announce first ever novel set in the League of Legends universe

Ruination: A League of Legends NovelNEW YORK (March 21, 2022) – Orbit and Riot Games, the leading video game developer and publisher best known for League of Legends, have signed a major licensing deal to publish the first ever novel set in the League of Legends universe.

The novel, Ruination, written by Anthony Reynolds, Principal Writer at Riot Games, tells the story of Kalista, military general to King Viego, as she searches for a legendary realm that may have access to ancient magic—the only way to cure the poisoned Queen Isolde.

Ruination will be published in English in September 2022 by Orbit teams in the US and UK in print, ebook, and audio editions, and distributed internationally. It is also expected to be translated for all major international markets, with publication dates to be announced in the future.

“Stories play such an important role in exploring our world and champions in deep and meaningful ways,” said Ashley Maidy, Head of Consumer Products for Riot Games. “This is a foundational story for Runeterra, and will shed new light on the events that shape some of its most pivotal characters. We are thrilled that Orbit will be bringing this to life for our fans.”

Senior Vice President and Publisher of Orbit US, Tim Holman, said of the deal, “We are thrilled to be publishing the first novel set in the League of Legends universe. Our goal is to publish stories that will excite not just the millions of League of Legends players but anyone who loves epic adventures set in fantastical worlds. Working with the Rioters has been an amazing experience, and I believe that together we can build a phenomenal publishing program.”

Orbit UK Publisher Anna Jackson said, “League of Legends has taken the world by storm, and we’re so excited to be working with the highly innovative team behind this global sensation. The universe they’ve created is so rich with detail, and we can’t wait to help bring it to life in new ways.”

Orbit US acquiring editor Bradley Englert said, “I’ve been playing League of Legends for more than ten years, and I’m beyond thrilled to be able to join Riot in publishing their first novel set within the League universe. The characters are unforgettable, and the depth of the world is immense. As an epic fantasy editor, it’s an absolute pleasure to be working with a team like Riot who have a real passion for telling remarkable stories.” 

About Riot Games

Riot Games was founded in 2006 to change the way video games are developed, published, and supported for players. In 2009, Riot released its debut title, League of Legends, to worldwide acclaim. League has gone on to be the most-played PC game in the world and a key driver of the explosive growth of esports.

About Orbit US

Orbit in the US is a division of Hachette Book Group, comprising the Orbit and Redhook imprints. Launched in 2007, the Orbit imprint has established itself as one of the market-leading SFF imprints in the US, and the fastest-growing imprint in the field. Orbit US authors include New York Times bestsellers Joe Abercrombie, Iain M. Banks, James S.A. Corey, Alix E. Harrow, N.K. Jemisin, Ann Leckie, Kim Stanley Robinson, Andrzej Sapkowski, Brent Weeks, and Hannah Whitten.

About Orbit UK

Orbit in the UK is the science fiction and fantasy imprint of Little, Brown Book Group. Launched in 1974, it is one of the leading SFF imprints in the UK. Orbit UK authors include Sunday Times and international bestsellers Iain M. Banks, Terry Brooks, Jim Butcher, Trudi Canavan, M.R. Carey, James S.A. Corey, N.K. Jemisin, Robert Jordan, Ann Leckie, Kim Stanley Robinson, Anthony Ryan and Brent Weeks.

About Hachette Book Group

Hachette Book Group is a leading trade publisher based in New York and a division of Hachette Livre (a Lagardère company), the third-largest trade and educational publisher in the world. HBG is made up of eight publishing groups: Grand Central Publishing; Hachette Audio; Little, Brown and Company; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Orbit; Perseus Books; and Workman Publishing.

About Hachette UK

Hachette UK is the UK’s second largest publishing group, with 10 autonomous publishing divisions and over 50 imprints with a rich and diverse history. We are also the market leader in e-books and publish a range of bestsellers in audio format, the fastest growing part of our business. Our award-winning adult publishing divisions are Orion, Little, Brown, John Murray Press, Hodder & Stoughton, Headline, Quercus, Bookouture and Octopus. Hachette Children’s Group publishes a diverse range of books for children of all ages and Hodder Education is a market leader in resources for both primary and secondary schools.

 

Acquisition Announcement: The Jasad Heir

Orbit is excited to announce the acquisition of THE JASAD HEIR, an Egyptian-inspired political fantasy from debut author, Sara Hashem.

The Jasad Heir is an epic tale of scorched kingdoms, forbidden magic, and cunning royals. Sylvia is the heir of the shattered kingdom, Jasad. Forced into hiding after her family is massacred, she knows to keep her head down, remain alone, and never use her magic. But one act of kindness changes everything and Sylvia is thrust into a game with her fallen kingdom’s greatest enemy—a game that could resurrect her kingdom or leave it in ashes forever.

Intrigued? I hope so! Here are a few words from Sara about what inspired her to write her debut:

Two years after my family moved from California to Egypt, Arab Spring struck. The country I had just started getting to know was immediately turned on its head. Students marched in the streets. The elderly slept in freezing tents in the middle of Tahrir Square. Families spent weeks clustered together, glued to their TVs or radios.

The decision to return to California was not easy. Wracked with guilt, I asked my father, “Do you think people know what happened? What’s still happening?” With complete certainty, he used a common Egyptian saying that translates to, “They will know even the movements of the ants in Egypt.”

But when I returned, people had no idea lives had been lost and they assumed I would be relieved to be away from a country in the midst of chaos and change.

Nearly a decade later, I started writing The Jasad Heir to answer a central question: what do you owe to a place and a people you’ve barely known but without whom you wouldn’t exist? Sylvia’s story helped me to find those answers, and I hope readers enjoy the journey as much as I did.

Look out for The Jasad Heir in 2023 and, in the meantime, please join us in welcoming Sara! You can find her on Twitter and TikTok as @SHashemWrites

Sara Hashem is an American-Egyptian writer from Southern California, where she spent many sunny days holed up indoors with a book. Sara’s love for fantasy and magical realms emerged during the two years her family lived in Egypt. When she isn’t busy naming stray cats in her neighborhood after her favorite authors, Sara can be found buried under coffee-ringed notebooks. She is currently pursuing her Juris Doctor degree as well as the perfect banana bread recipe.

Orbit US editor Nivia Evans acquired World English rights from Jennifer Azantian at Azantian Literary Agency

Cover Launch: CONTACT by Carl Sagan

We’re thrilled to reveal the cover for our upcoming reissue of CONTACT, Carl Sagan’s internationally bestselling novel of first contact.

Design by Emily Shields

 

For this new edition we challenged a number of design students to create and pitch design concepts. The winning entry – as seen above – was created by Emily Shields. We had a tough time choosing a winner as there were so many strong designs and we will showcase some of them nearer the book’s publication.

An instant bestseller upon its original publication in 1985, CONTACT has gone on to sell millions of copies worldwide and is a classic of science fiction.

 

We are not alone . . .

At first it seemed impossible – a radio signal that came not from Earth but from far beyond the nearest stars. But then the signal was translated, and what had been impossible became terrifying.

For the signal contains the information to build a Machine that can travel to the stars. A Machine that can take a human to meet those that sent the message.

They are eager to meet us: they have been watching and waiting for a long time.

And now they will judge.

 

‘Stunning and satisfying’ Los Angeles Times

‘An astonishingly exciting, precise and involved book’ Sydney Sunday Telegraph

‘The range and depth of ideas is quite uncommon’ New York Times Book Review

‘Sagan’s informed and dramatically enacted speculations into the mysteries of the universe . . . make Contact an exciting adventure’ Publishers Weekly

‘Imaginative flair’ Wall Street Journal 

 

We publish this new edition of CONTACT in April. Pre-order now: UK/ANZ

Cover launch: ITHACA by Claire North

Following our exciting acquisition news about ITHACA by Claire North, we’re now thrilled to reveal the stunning cover, designed by the hugely talented Lisa Marie Pompilio at Orbit US.

Book cover for ITHACA by Claire North, featuring a contemplative woman in a Greek robe pulling loom threads through her fingers

Claire North is renowned for being one of the most original and innovative voices in modern fiction, and now she has turned her hand to the classical age with incredible results . . .

ITHACA is a powerful retelling of the Greek myth of Penelope from the Odyssey. It is perfect for anyone who has enjoyed Circe by Madeline Miller or Ariadne by Jennifer Saint—but it also has its own completely unique flavour, told through the eyes of the goddess Hera. It’s poetic, thrilling, and heartbreaking all at once, and it’s already receiving superb praise:

‘Claire North brings a powerful, fresh and unflinching voice to ancient myth – darkly fascinating, raw and breathtaking’ Jennifer Saint, author of Sunday Times bestseller Ariadne

ITHACA is out this September and it’s available for pre-order now (UK | US) . Read on to hear more about it:

This is the story of Penelope of Ithaca, famed wife of Odysseus, as it has never been told before. Beyond Ithaca’s shores, the whims of gods dictate the wars of men. But on the isle, it is the choices of the abandoned women – and their goddesses – that will change the course of the world.

Seventeen years ago, king Odysseus sailed to war with Troy, taking with him every man of fighting age from the island of Ithaca. None of them have returned, and the women have been left behind to run the kingdom.

Penelope was barely into womanhood when she wed Odysseus. Whilst he lived, her position was secure. But now, years on, speculation is mounting that husband is dead, and suitors are starting to knock at her door . . .

But no one man is strong enough to claim Odysseus’ empty throne – not yet. Between Penelope’s many suitors, a cold war of dubious alliances and hidden knives reigns, as everyone waits for the balance of power to tip one way or another. If Penelope chooses one from amongst them, it will plunge Ithaca into bloody civil war. Only through cunning and her spy network of maids can she maintain the delicate balance of power needed for the kingdom to survive.

On Ithaca, everyone watches everyone else, and there is no corner of the palace where intrigue does not reign . . .

From the multi award-winning Claire North comes a daring, exquisite and moving tale that breathes life into ancient myth, and tells of the women who stand defiant in a world ruled by ruthless men. It’s time for the women of Ithaca to tell their tale . . .

Like Penelope at her loom North both weaves and unweaves, teasing out the threads of Homeric myth to recombine them into something unique, wonderful and urgently contemporary’ M. R. Carey, author of The Girl With All the Gifts

Pre-order ITHACA by Claire North now (UK | US).

Acquisition Announcement: A DOWRY OF BLOOD by S. T. Gibson

We are delighted to announce that we’ve acquired S. T. Gibson’s A Dowry of Blood, a deliciously dark retelling of Dracula; a story of desire, obsession and the lengths to which we’ll go to protect the ones we love. It was previously published by independent press Nyx Publishing and has already established a dedicated fan base; Orbit plans to build on the novel’s cult success and break it out to a wide commercial fiction readership.

Orbit UK and US will publish simultaneously in October 2022, with a further book from S. T. Gibson set in the same world as A Dowry of Blood following in 2023. This stunning cover was designed by Duncan Spilling.

A book cover with a dark background and a woman with a smear of blood across her eyes

This is my last love letter to you, though some would call it a confession. . .

Saved from the brink of death by a mysterious stranger, Constanta is transformed from a medieval peasant into a bride fit for an undying king. But when Dracula draws a cunning aristocrat and a starving artist into his web of passion and deceit, Constanta realizes that her beloved is capable of terrible things.

Finding comfort in the arms of her rival consorts, she begins to unravel their husband’s dark secrets. With the lives of everyone she loves on the line, Constanta will have to choose between her own freedom and her love for her husband. But bonds forged by blood can only be broken by death.

S. T. Gibson said: ‘I’m absolutely elated to be working with the talented team at Orbit to bring A Dowry of Blood to life on a grand scale. From the first editorial call, I knew that this book had found its perfect home. A Dowry of Blood was my refuge and comfort during a tough period in my life, and Constanta’s story is near and dear to my heart. By writing this book I was able to dive headfirst into themes of love and marriage, abuse and tenderness, and life and death. I hope readers enjoy the chills and thrills of this dark, dramatic story of obsession.’

Praise for A Dowry of Blood:

‘Dark, lush and heartrendingly romantic’ Lyndall Clipstone, author of Lakesedge

‘A dizzying nightmare of a romance that will leave you aching, angry and ultimately hopeful’ Hannah Whitten, author of For the Wolf

‘Atmospheric and lush. . . it will haunt you in the best possible way’ Genevieve Gornichec, author of The Witch’s Heart

Tara Gilbert at the Jennifer De Chiara Agency sold World English rights in a two-book deal to Assistant Editor Nadia Saward at Orbit UK. Associate Editor Angeline Rodriguez at Orbit US has secured North American rights.

We can’t wait to make this the next big obsession in October, but in the meantime please join us in welcoming S. T. Gibson to Orbit! Follow for updates on Twitter at @s_t_gibson, Instagram at @stgibsonauthor and TikTok at @saint.machina

 

 

 

 

Acquisition announcement: ITHACA by Claire North

Claire North, author of Ithaca and The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

We are thrilled to announce the acquisition of a trio of novels from the award-winning Claire North that retell the ancient Greek myth of Penelope, wife of Odysseus.

The first book, Ithaca, is narrated by the goddess Hera. It is a daring, exquisite tale that breathes new life into ancient myth, and tells of the women who stand defiant in a world ruled by ruthless men.

In the words of Jennifer Saint, author of Sunday Times bestseller AriadneClaire North brings a powerful, fresh and unflinching voice to ancient myth – darkly fascinating, raw and breathtaking.”

Orbit UK and Redhook US will publish Ithaca globally this September. Books two and three in the series after will follow in 2023 and 2024 and will be narrated by the goddesses Aphrodite and Athena respectively.

Holding cover for the novel Ithaca by Claire NorthOrbit UK Publisher Anna Jackson says “There is a great hunger for tales set in the classical age right now, but Ithaca is a retelling like no other . . . Claire North is widely recognised as one of the most unique and innovative voices in modern fiction, and her readers will be thrilled to see her turn her hand to ancient Greece – with such flair. This bold, captivating and moving novel tells the story of Penelope and the other women left on Ithaca when the men of their island have sailed off to war. And as the world around them is torn apart by men and gods alike, it is the women who defend their isle and hold a fragile peace. Ithaca is a novel that’s beautiful and brutal, irreverent and utterly devastating all at once, and in the words of author M. R. Carey, feels “urgently contemporary”.”

Claire North says “A lot of stories set in this time write about women as either victims, their agency stripped away, or as mere cyphers to the lives of the men around them. Penelope is not a victim, but if people think she is, she is very willing to use that to further her aims. This book is the secret history of the women the poets ignored, as they plotted, schemed and waged war.”

Claire North is a pseudonym for the author Catherine Webb. Her first book under the Claire North name was the word-of-mouth bestseller The First Fifteen lives of Harry August, which is being adapted as movie by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners and will be directed by ‘Maze Runner’ director Wes Ball.

Notes from the Burning Age by Claire North

North has since published several critically acclaimed novels and won the World Fantasy Award, and has been shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, the Locus Award and the Sunday Times/PFD Young Writer of the Year Award.

Meg Davis at the Ki Agency sold World Rights to Publisher Anna Jackson at Orbit UK. Senior Editor Priyanka Krishnan at Orbit US has secured North American rights for publication on the Redhook imprint.

Claire North’s most recent novel, Notes from the Burning Age (UK | US | ANZ), is out in paperback in the UK on 10th February. Ithaca is available for pre-order now (UK | US).

Cover launch: We Dream of Gods by Devin Madson

Devin Madson’s bold and bloody Reborn Empire series comes to an electrifying conclusion in WE DREAM OF GODS, out this December! The fate of the world will be decided when heroes and gods march into battle one last time…

Cover Design by Lisa Marie Pompilio; Cover Illustration by Nico Delort

 

While you wait, catch up on the first three books in the Reborn Empire series (We Ride the Storm US | UK, We Lie With Death US | UK, and We Cry for Blood US | UK), and find Devin at their website and on Twitter.

Cover launch: The World Gives Way by Marissa Levien

THE WORLD GIVES WAY by Marissa Levien is getting a refresh for its paperback release on May 3rd! Check out the new stunning cover that perfectly captures this portrait of a world in freefall, and the fierce drive to live even at the end of it all.

Design by Lisa Marie Pompilio

 

New York Times Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Novel of 2021
A Fortune Magazine Best Book of 2021

“A staggering marvel.”—The New York Times

The World Gives Way has a sweeping world rich in lore and an electric plot.”—Brandon Taylor, Booker Prize-nominated author of Real Life

In a near-future world on the brink of collapse, a young woman born into servitude must seize her own freedom in this glittering debut with a brilliant twist.

In fifty years, Myrra will be free.

Until then, she’s a contract worker. Ever since she was five, her life and labor have belonged to the highest bidder on her contract—butchers, laundries, and now the powerful, secretive Carlyles.

But when one night finds the Carlyles dead, Myrra is suddenly free a lot sooner than she anticipated—and at a cost she never could have imagined. Burdened with the Carlyles’ orphaned daughter and the terrible secret they died to escape, she runs. With time running out, Myrra must come face to face with the truth about her world—and embrace what’s left before it’s too late.

A sweeping novel with a darkly glimmering heart, The World Gives Way is an unforgettable portrait of a world in freefall, and the fierce drive to live even at the end of it all.

Cover launch: It Rides a Pale Horse

From Andy Marino, a new star in horror fiction, comes IT RIDES A PALE HORSE: a terrifying novel of obsession, creation, and the shocking actions we’ll take to protect those we love, all set in a small town filled with dark secrets.

Design by Lisa Marie Pompilio

Peter Larkin—Lark to his friends—is a local hero in the small town of Wofford Falls. The one who went to the big city, became a famous sculptor, then returned home to settle down. He’s the kind of guy who becomes fast friends with almost anyone. His sister, Betsy, is even more gifted. And eccentric. Unlike Lark, she keeps to herself.

When Lark delivers his latest piece to a fabulously rich buyer, it seems like a regular transaction. Even being met at the gate of the sprawling, secluded estate by an intimidating security guard seems normal. Until the guard plays him a live feed: Betsy being abducted in real time.

Lark is informed that she’s safe for now, but her well‑being is entirely in his hands. He’s given a book. Do what the book says, and Betsy will go free.

It seems simple enough—an instruction manual for a sculpture. But as Lark begins to work he realizes: the book’s writer is unhinged. The sculpture is impossible. And his sister’s captors are not what they seem.

All the while, his town and those within it are changing. And the only way out is through.

Cover launch: The Bladed Faith by David Dalglish

A usurped prince prepares to take up the mantel of a deadly assassin and reclaim his kingdom, his people, and his slain gods in this epic fantasy from USA Today bestselling author, David Dalglish.

Cyrus was only twelve years old when his gods were slain, his country invaded, and his parents—the king and queen—beheaded in front of him. Held prisoner in the invader’s court for years, Cyrus is suddenly given a chance to escape and claim his revenge when a mysterious group of revolutionaries comes looking for a figurehead. They need a hero to strike fear into the hearts of the imperial and to inspire and unite the people. They need someone to take up the skull mask and swords and to become the legendary “Vagrant”—an unparalleled hero and assassin of otherworldly skill.

But all is not as it seems. Creating the illusion of a hero is the work of many, and Cyrus will soon discover the true price of his vengeance.

Design by Lauren Panepinto, Illustration by Chase Stone