Orbit New Voices – 2022

We’re thrilled to present Orbit’s new (and new to adult SFF) authors for 2022!

From mythic retellings and gothic fantasy to far-future space opera and more, these books are a perfect introduction to the authors you’ll be reading for years to come. Prepare your TBR lists!

This page will be updated with new covers, excerpts, and authors as they are announced, so bookmark it and follow us @orbitbooks for updates!

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The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan

On Sale: Feb 22, 2022 (US) | Feb 24, 2022 (UK)

From a major new debut author in epic fantasy comes the first book in a trilogy where action, intrigue, and magic collide. The Justice of Kings introduces an unforgettable protagonist destined to become a fantasy icon: Sir Konrad Vonvalt, an Emperor’s Justice, who is a detective, judge, and executioner all in one. But these are dangerous times to be a Justice….

“A fantastic debut.” – Peter McLean, author of Priest of Bones

The Empire of the Wolf simmers with unrest. Rebels, heretics, and powerful patricians all challenge the power of the Imperial throne.

Only the Order of Justices stands in the way of chaos. Sir Konrad Vonvalt is the most feared Justice of all, upholding the law by way of his sharp mind, arcane powers, and skill as a swordsman. At his side stands Helena Sedanka, his talented protégé, orphaned by the wars that forged the Empire.

When the pair investigates the murder of a provincial aristocrat, they unearth a conspiracy that stretches to the very top of Imperial society. As the stakes rise and become ever more personal, Vonvalt and Helena must make a choice: Will they abandon the laws they’ve sworn to uphold, in order to protect the Empire?

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About the Author

Richard Swan was born in North Yorkshire and spent most of his early life on Royal Air Force bases in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. After studying law at the University of Manchester, Richard was Called to the Bar in 2011. He subsequently retrained as a solicitor specialising in commercial litigation.

When he is not working, Richard can be found in London with his wonderful wife Sophie, where they attempt to raise, with mixed results, their two very loud sons.

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The City of Dusk by Tara Sim

On Sale: Mar 22, 2022 (US)

This dark epic fantasy follows the heirs of four noble houses—each gifted with a divine power—as they form a tenuous alliance to keep their kingdom from descending into a realm-shattering war.

The Four Realms—Life, Death, Light, and Darkness—all converge on the city of dusk. For each realm there is a god, and for each god there is an heir.

But the gods have withdrawn their favor from the once vibrant and thriving city. And without it, all the realms are dying.

Unwilling to stand by and watch the destruction, the four heirs—Risha, a necromancer struggling to keep the peace; Angelica, an elementalist with her eyes set on the throne; Taesia, a shadow-wielding rogue with rebellion in her heart; and Nik, a soldier who struggles to see the light—will sacrifice everything to save the city.

But their defiance will cost them dearly.

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About the Author

Tara Sim is the author of TheCity of Dusk (Orbit), as well as the Scavenge the Stars duology (Little, Brown) and the Timekeeper trilogy (Sky Pony Press). She can often be found in the wilds of the Bay Area, California. When she’s not writing about magic, murder, and mayhem, Tara spends her time drinking tea, wrangling cats, and lurking in bookstores.

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Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May

On Sale: Mar 29, 2022 (US) | Mar 31, 2022 (UK)

“Brimming with romance and gilded with danger, Wild and Wicked Things is a heady, lyrical gem of a book.” —Hannah Whitten, New York Times bestselling author

In the aftermath of World War I, a naive woman is swept into a glittering world filled with dark magic, romance, and murder in this lush and decadent debut.

On Crow Island, people whisper, real magic lurks just below the surface. New to the idyllic summer getaway, Annie Mason is confident those are only rumors. Magic—the kind that leaves soldiers shell shocked and families heartbroken—has been prohibited since the war ended. Now, the closest anyone gets are party tricks designed for the rich and aimless.

Neither real magic nor faux magic interests Annie. Not after it stole her future. She’s only on the island to settle her late father’s estate and, hopefully, reconnect with her long-absent best friend, Beatrice, who fled their dreary lives for a more glamorous one.

Yet Crow Island is brimming with temptation, and the biggest one may be her enigmatic new neighbor.

Mysterious and alluring, Emmeline Delacroix is a figure shadowed by rumors of witchcraft. And when Annie witnesses a confrontation between Bea and Emmeline at one of the island’s extravagant parties, she is drawn into a glittering, haunted world. A world where the boundaries of wickedness are tested, and the cost of illicit magic might be death.

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About the Author

Francesca May grew up in the middle of England where she spent her childhood devouring fantasy books and brewing potions in her back garden. She currently lives in Derby with her family, three giant dogs, and two black cats. By day she works as a bookseller at Waterstones. By night she accidentally kills every house plant she touches and writes novels about gothic mansions, witchcraft, and queer love. She also writes psychological thrillers and gothic suspense as Fran Dorricott. You can find her on Twitter @franwritesstuff or her website at http://www.frandorricott.com

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Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel

On Sale: Apr 26, 2022 (US)

“Patel’s mesmerizing debut shines a brilliant light on the vilified queen from [the Indian epic] the Ramayana….This easily earns its place on shelves alongside Madeline Miller’s Circe.” –Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“I was born on the full moon under an auspicious constellation, the holiest of positions—much good it did me.”

So begins Kaikeyi’s story. The only daughter of the kingdom of Kekaya, she is raised on tales about the might and benevolence of the gods: how they churned the vast ocean to obtain the nectar of immortality, how they vanquish evil and ensure the land of Bharat prospers, and how they offer powerful boons to the devout and the wise. Yet she watches as her father unceremoniously banishes her mother, listens as her own worth is reduced to how great a marriage alliance she can secure. And when she calls upon the gods for help, they never seem to hear.

Desperate for some measure of independence, she turns to the texts she once read with her mother and discovers a magic that is hers alone. With this power, Kaikeyi transforms herself from an overlooked princess into a warrior, diplomat, and most favored queen, determined to carve a better world for herself and the women around her.

But as the evil from her childhood stories threatens the cosmic order, the path she has forged clashes with the destiny the gods have chosen for her family. And Kaikeyi must decide if resistance is worth the destruction it will wreak—and what legacy she intends to leave behind.

A stunning debut from a powerful new voice, Kaikeyi reimagines the life of the infamous queen from the Indian epic the Ramayana, weaving a tale of fate, family, courage, and heartbreak—of an extraordinary woman determined to leave her mark in a world where gods and men dictate the shape of things to come.

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About the Author

Vaishnavi Patel is a law student focusing on constitutional law and civil rights. She likes to write at the intersection of Indian myth, feminism, and anti-colonialism. Her short stories can be found in The Dark and 87 Bedford’s Historical Fantasy Anthology along with a forthcoming story in Helios Quarterly. Vaishnavi grew up in and around Chicago, and in her spare time, enjoys activities that are almost stereotypically Midwestern: knitting, ice skating, drinking hot chocolate, and making hotdish.

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The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah

On Sale: May 17, 2022 (US) | May 19, 2022 (UK)

Inspired by stories from One Thousand and One NightsThe Stardust Thief weaves the gripping tale of a legendary smuggler, a cowardly prince, and a dangerous quest across the desert to find a legendary, magical lamp.

Neither here nor there, but long ago…

Loulie al-Nazari is the Midnight Merchant: a criminal who, with the help of her jinn bodyguard, hunts and sells illegal magic. When she saves the life of a cowardly prince, she draws the attention of his powerful father, the sultan, who blackmails her into finding an ancient lamp that has the power to revive the barren land—at the cost of sacrificing all jinn.

With no choice but to obey or be executed, Loulie journeys with the sultan’s oldest son to find the artifact. Aided by her bodyguard, who has secrets of his own, they must survive ghoul attacks, outwit a vengeful jinn queen, and confront a malicious killer from Loulie’s past. And, in a world where story is reality and illusion is truth, Loulie will discover that everything—her enemy, her magic, even her own past—is not what it seems, and she must decide who she will become in this new reality.

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About the Author

Chelsea Abdullah is an American-Kuwaiti writer born and raised in Kuwait, where she grew up listening to stories about mysterious desert creatures and wily (only sometimes likable) heroes.

Consumed by wanderlust, she has put down roots in various states. After earning her MA in English at Duquesne University, she moved to New York, where she currently lives. When not immersed in her own fictional worlds, she spends her free time playing video games, doodling characters, and hoarding books she doesn’t have the shelf space for.

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The Ballad of Perilous Graves by Alex Jennings

On Sale: Jun 21, 2022 (US) | Jun 23, 2022 (UK)

In a fantastical version of New Orleans where music is magic, a battle for the city’s soul brews between two young mages, a vengeful wraith, and one powerful song in this vibrant and imaginative debut.

Nola is a city full of wonders. A place of sky trolleys and dead cabs, where haints dance the night away and Wise Women keep the order, and where songs walk, talk and keep the spirit of the city alive. To those from Far Away, Nola might seem strange. To failed magician, Perilous Graves, it’s simply home. Then the rhythm stutters.

Nine songs of power have escaped from the magical piano that maintains the city’s beat and without them, Nola will fail. Unexpectedly, Perry and his sister, Brendy, are tasked with saving the city. But a storm is brewing and the Haint of All Haints is awake. Even if they capture the songs, Nola’s time might be coming to an end.

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About the Author

Alex Jennings is a teacher, author, and performer living in New Orleans. His writing has appeared in strangehorizons.com, podcastle, The Peauxdunque Review, Obsidian Lit, the Locus- Award-winning Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler, and in numerous anthologies. His debut collection, Here I Come and Other Stories was released in 2012. He also serves as MC and co-producer of Dogfish, a monthly literary readings series. He is a graduate of Clarion West (2003) and the University of New Orleans. He was born in Wiesbaden (Germany) and raised in Gaborone (Botswana), Paramaribo (Surinam), and Tunis (Tunisia) as well as the United States. He is an afternoon person.

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Half a Soul

On Sale: Jun 28, 2022 (US) | Jun 30, 2022 (UK)

“Whimsical, witty, and brimming over with charm” (India Holton), Olivia Atwater’s delightful debut will transport you to a magical version of Regency England, where the only thing more meddlesome than a fairy is a marriage-minded mother!

It’s difficult to find a husband in Regency England when you’re a young lady with only half a soul.

Ever since she was cursed by a faerie, Theodora Ettings has had no sense of fear or embarrassment—an unfortunate condition that leaves her prone to accidental scandal. Dora hopes to be a quiet, sensible wallflower during the London Season—but when Elias Wilder, the strange, handsome, and utterly ill-mannered Lord Sorcier, discovers her condition, she is instead drawn into peculiar and dangerous faerie affairs.

If her reputation can survive both her curse and her sudden connection with the least-liked man in all high society, then she and her family may yet reclaim their normal place in the world. But the longer Dora spends with Elias, the more she begins to suspect that one may indeed fall in love even with only half a soul.

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About the Author

Olivia Atwater writes whimsical historical fantasy with a hint of satire. She lives in Montreal, Quebec with her fantastic, prose-inspiring husband and her two cats. When she told her second-grade history teacher that she wanted to work with history someday, she is fairly certain this isn’t what either party had in mind. She has been, at various times, a historical re-enactor, a professional witch at a metaphysical supply store, a web developer, and a vending machine repairperson.

The Book of Gothel by Mary McMyne

On Sale: Jul 26, 2022 (US) | Jul 28, 2022 (UK)

Everyone knows the story of Rapunzel in the tower, but do you know the story of the witch who put her there? Told from her own perspective, The Book of Gothel is a lush, historical retelling filled with dark magic, crumbling towers, mysterious woods, and evil princes. This is the truth they never wanted you to know, as only a witch might tell it.

Haelewise has always lived under the shadow of her mother, Hedda—a woman who will do anything to keep her daughter protected. For with her strange black eyes and even stranger fainting spells, Haelewise is shunned by her village, and her only solace lies in the stories her mother tells of child-stealing witches, of princes in wolf-skins, of an ancient tower cloaked in mist, where women will find shelter if they are brave enough to seek it.

Then, Hedda dies, and Haelewise is left unmoored. With nothing left for her in her village, she sets out to find the legendary tower her mother used to speak of—a place called Gothel, where Haelewise meets a wise woman willing to take her under her wing.

But Haelewise is not the only woman to seek refuge at Gothel. It’s also a haven for a girl named Rika, who carries with her a secret the Church strives to keep hidden. A secret that reveals a dark world of ancient spells and murderous nobles behind the world Haelewise has always known…

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About the Author

Mary McMyne has widely published stories and poems in venues like Redivider, Gulf Coast, Strange Horizons, and Apex Magazine, and her debut fairytale poetry chapbook, Wolf Skin (Dancing Girl Press, 2014), won the Elgin Chapbook Award. She is a graduate of the New York University MFA Program and currently an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Lake Superior State University.

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Coming Soon

The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen

On Sale: Aug 23, 2022 (US) | Aug 25, 2022 (UK)

Hart Ralston is a marshal, tasked with patrolling the wasteland of Tanria, hunting for drudges. It’s an unforgiving job, and Hart’s got nothing but time to ponder his loneliness.

Mercy Birdsall never has a moment to herself. She’s been single-handedly keeping Birdsall & Son Undertakers afloat – despite definitely not being a son – in defiance of sullen jerks like Hart Ralston, who seems to have a gift for showing up right when her patience is thinnest.

After yet another exasperating run-in with Mercy, Hart finds himself penning a letter addressed simply to “A Friend”. Much to his surprise, an anonymous letter comes back in return, and a tentative friendship is born.

If only Hart knew he’s been baring his soul to the person who infuriates him most – Mercy. As the unlikely pen pals grow closer, so does the danger posed by the drudges. And suddenly their old animosity seems so small compared to what they might be able to do: end the drudges forever. But can their blossoming romance survive the fated discovery that their pen pals are their worst nightmares – each other?

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About the Author

Megan Bannen is a former public librarian whose YA debut THE BIRD AND THE BLADE was an Indies Introduce pick for 2018, a Kids Indie Next Fall 2018 List pick, a Kirkus Best YA of 2018, and recently was named by Stephenie Meyer as the most recent book that made her cry. In her spare time, she collects graduate degrees from Kansas colleges and universities. While most of her professional career has been spent in public libraries, she has also sold luggage, written grants, and taught English at home and abroad. She lives in the Kansas City area with her husband and their two sons.

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Notorious Sorcerer by Davinia Evans

On Sale: Sep 13, 2022 (US) | Sep 15, 2022 (UK)

In a city filled with dangerous yet heavily regulated alchemical magic, a man from the slums discovers he may be its only hope to survive certain destruction in this wickedly entertaining fantasy debut. 

Ever since the city of Bezim was shaken half into the sea by a magical earthquake, the Inquisitors have policed alchemy with brutal efficiency. Nothing too powerful, too complicated, too much like real magic is allowed–and the careful science that’s left is kept too expensive for any but the rich and indolent to tinker with. Siyon Velo, a glorified errand boy scraping together lesson money from a little inter-planar fetch and carry, doesn’t qualify.

But when Siyon accidentally commits a public act of impossible magic, he’s catapulted into the limelight. Except the limelight is a bad place to be when the planes themselves start lurching out of alignment, threatening to send the rest of the city into the sea.

Now Siyon, a dockside brat who clawed his way up and proved himself on rooftops with saber in hand, might be Bezim’s only hope. Because if they don’t fix the cascading failures of magic in their plane, the Powers and their armies in the other three will do it for them.

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About the Author

Davinia Evans was born in the tropics and raised on British comedy. With a lifelong fantasy-reading habit and an honours thesis in political strategy, it was perhaps inevitable that she turn to a life of crafting stories full of sneaky ratbags tangling with magic. She lives in Melbourne, Australia, with two humans (one large and one small), a neurotic cat, and a cellar full of craft beer. Dee talks more about all of that on Twitter as @cupiscent.

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One Dark Window by Rachel Gillig

On Sale: Sep 27, 2022 (US) | Sep 29, 2022 (UK)

Elspeth needs a monster. The monster might be her.

For fans of Uprooted and For the Wolf comes a dark, lushly gothic fantasy about a maiden who must unleash the monster within to save her kingdom. But the monster in her head isn’t the only threat lurking.

Elspeth Spindle needs more than luck to stay safe in the eerie, mist-locked kingdom of Blunder—she needs a monster. She calls him the Nightmare, an ancient, mercurial spirit trapped in her head. He protects her. He keeps her secrets.

But nothing comes for free, especially magic.

When Elspeth meets a mysterious highwayman on the forest road, her life takes a drastic turn. Thrust into a world of shadow and deception, she joins a dangerous quest to cure Blunder from the dark magic infecting it. Except the highwayman just so happens to be the King’s own nephew, Captain of the most dangerous men in Blunder…and guilty of high treason.

He and Elspeth have until Solstice to gather twelve Providence Cards—the keys to the cure. But as the stakes heighten and their undeniable attraction intensifies, Elspeth is forced to face her darkest secret yet: the Nightmare is slowly, darkly, taking over her mind. And she might not be able to stop him.

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About the Author

Rachel Gillig was born and raised on the California coast. She is a writer and a teacher, with a B.A. in Literary Theory and Criticism from UC Davis. If she is not ensconced in blankets dreaming up her next novel, Rachel is in her garden or walking with her husband, son, and their poodle, Wally.

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A Dowry of Blood

On Sale: Oct 4, 2022 (US) | Oct 6, 2022 (UK)

A deliciously dark retelling of Dracula, A Dowry of Blood is a saga of obsession, desire and the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love.

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.

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About the Author

S.T. Gibson is an author, literary agent, and village wise woman in training. She currently lives in Boston with her fiance, spoiled Persian cat, and vintage blazer collection.

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Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh

On Sale: Oct 13, 2022 (UK)

A thrillingly told queer space opera full of complex characters and boundless imagination. By turns epic and intimate, it’s coming-of-age story about what empires and systems of war do to the young soldiers in their care.

Kyr lives in the bowels of Gaea Station alongside the last scraps of humanity, training for the day she can avenge the destruction of planet Earth at the hands of the all-powerful, reality-shifting weapon known as the Wisdom. She trusts and even loves Command, but when they assign the wrong missions – her beloved brother Magnus to a useless suicide and her to bear sons until she dies trying – she knows she has to take humanity’s revenge into her own hands.

But she soon learns that not everything she’s been raised to believe is true and the Wisdom is far more complex and dangerous than she could ever have imagined.

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About the Author

Emily Tesh, a two-time Astounding Award finalist, is the author of the World Fantasy Award-winning Greenhollow Duology. She grew up in London and studied Classics at Trinity College, Cambridge, followed by a Master’s degree in Humanities at the University of Chicago. She now lives in Hertfordshire, where she passes her time teaching Latin and Ancient Greek to schoolchildren who have done nothing to deserve it. She has a husband and a cat. Neither of them knows any Latin yet, but it is not for lack of trying.

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Empire of Exiles by Erin M. Evans

On Sale: Nov 8, 2022 (US)

Magic, mystery, and revolution collide in this fantasy epic where an unlikely team of mages, scribes, and archivists must band together to unearth a conspiracy that might topple their empire.

Twenty-seven years ago, a Duke with a grudge led a ruthless coup against the empire of Semilla, killing thousands. He failed. The Duke was executed, a terrifyingly powerful sorcerer was imprisoned, and an unwilling princess disappeared.

The empire moved on.

Now, when Quill, an apprentice scribe, arrives in the capital city, he believes he’s on a simple errand for another pompous noble: fetch ancient artifacts from the magical Imperial Archives. He’s always found his apprenticeship to a lawman to be dull work. But these aren’t just any artifacts — these are the instruments of revolution, the banners under which the Duke lead his coup.

Just as the artifacts are unearthed, the city is shaken by a brutal murder that seems to have been caused by a weapon not seen since the days of rebellion. With Quill being the main witness to the murder, and no one in power believing his story, he must join the Archivists — a young mage, a seasoned archivist, and a disillusioned detective — to solve the truth of the attack. And what they uncover will be the key to saving the empire – or destroying it again.

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About the Author

Erin M. Evans is the author of seven Forgotten Realms novels for Wizards of the Coast, including the 2011 Scribe Award winner Brimstone Angels. In addition, she is the former editor of the Eberron novel line and has written fiction for the RPGs Shadow of the Demon LordMonarchies of Mau, and Aetaltis, as well as dialogue for the MMO TERA. Erin graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in anthropology and currently lives in the Seattle area with her husband and sons.

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The Stars Undying by Emery Robin

On Sale: Nov 8, 2022 (US) | Nov 10, 2022 (UK)

A spectacular space opera debut perfect for readers of Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice and Arkady Martine’s A Memory Called Empire, inspired by the lives and loves of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar.

Princess Altagracia has lost everything. After a bloody civil war, her twin sister has claimed not just the crown of their planet Szayet but the Pearl of its prophecy, a computer that contains the immortal soul of Szayet’s god. Stripped of her birthright, Gracia flees the planet—just as Matheus Ceirran, Commander of the interstellar Empire of Ceiao, arrives in deadly pursuit with his volatile lieutenant, Anita. When Gracia and Ceirran’s paths collide, Gracia sees an opportunity to win back her planet, her god, and her throne…if she can win the Commander and his right-hand officer over first.

But talking her way into Ceirran’s good graces, and his bed, is only the beginning. Dealing with the most powerful man in the galaxy is almost as dangerous as war, and Gracia is quickly torn between an alliance that fast becomes more than political and the wishes of the god—or machine—that whispers in her ear. For Szayet’s sake, and her own, Gracia will need to become more than a princess with a silver tongue. She will have to become a queen as history has never seen before—even if it breaks an empire.

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About the Author

Emery Robin is a paralegal, recovering Californian, and sometime student of propaganda and art history living in New York City.

This is Emery’s first novel.

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