Shelly, Sam, Jocelyn, Martina, Erin, Susan, Michelle, Laura, Anisaa, and Kristin
YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK
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by Kimberley Griffiths Little
Full Series plus Swag Giveaway
After tragedy strikes on the day they were to wed, Jayden must support Kadesh as he ascends the throne and becomes king of Sariba. But with the dark priestess Aliyah conspiring to control the crown, and the arrival of Horeb, Jayden’s former betrothed, Kadesh’s kingdom, as well as his status as king, is at stake.
Jayden knows that the time to be merciful has come and gone, and that some enemies can only be halted by death. Now she and Kadesh must prepare to fight not only for their love, but also for their kingdom.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Returned?
That it’s done! Haha! Seriously, I thought getting the third book of the trilogy drafted in this sprawling story set in Ancient Mesopotamia with a large cast of characters and locations was going to kill me.
I planned out the storyline over several months on 3x5 cards and then found myself backed up against my deadline because the opening chapters were coming in fits and starts. I ended up drafting during the final drop-dead month while traveling to conferences—and right before the holidays—in hotels and rental cars. Thankfully, my husband was driving!
On the flight from Albuquerque to Atlanta my 3x5 cards were lost on the plane—never recovered despite many phone calls to Delta. I bawled. The first draft already seemed insurmountable and this just intensified the stress.
I was moving through a very dark tunnel during those months so it feels great to think, “I wrote an entire trilogy”. Close to 1,200 pages – wow! I told my editor after the revision process was finished and we were doing copy-edits that I never wanted to write another trilogy again. She merely laughed.
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Denton Little's Still Not Dead
by Lance Rubin
Knopf Books for Young Readers
The good news: Denton Little has lived through his deathdate. Yay! The bad news: He’s being chased by the DIA (Death Investigation Agency), he can never see his family again, and he may now die any time. Huh. Cheating death isn’t quite as awesome as Denton would have thought…
Lance Rubin’s debut novel, Denton Little’s Deathdate, showed readers just how funny and poignant imminent death could be. Now in this sequel, he takes on the big questions about life. How do we cope, knowing we could die at any time? Would you save someone from dying even if they were a horrible person? Is it wrong to kiss the girl your best friend is crushing on if she’s really into you instead? What if she’s wearing bacon lip gloss?
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Denton Little's Still Not Dead?
This might be a weird answer, but my favorite thing is that I really like it and am proud of how it turned out. For a while during the process, I wasn’t sure that was going to be the case. Unlike the first one, I was writing it under a strict deadline and people were already liking DEATHDATE a lot so I felt all this pressure to live up to that. I spent most of the process feeling like, “Yeah, this sucks and people aren’t going to like it as much as the first. Oh well.” You know, classic second-book stuff.
But, when all is said and done, I think this book successfully honors the main characters---especially Denton and Paolo and their spectacular friendship—and the story and the life-and-death meditation of the first book while being very much its own unpredictable beast. And that makes me happy.
My second favorite thing is that I straight-up took a page from the HOME ALONE playbook and set the sequel in New York City.
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Rise of Fire
by Sophie Jordan
The richly suspenseful sequel to Sophie Jordan’s romantic fantasy Reign of Shadows.
Luna and Fowler have escaped the kingdom of Relhok, but they haven’t escaped the darkness. When a battle against the dark dwellers mortally injures Fowler, Luna is faced with a choice: put their fate in the hands of mysterious strangers or risk losing Fowler forever.
Desperate to keep the one bright part of her life alive, Luna accepts the help of soldiers from a nearby kingdom. Lagonia’s castle offers reprieve from the dangerous outside world—until the king discovers both Fowler's and Luna’s true ties to Relhok and their influence over the throne.
Now pawns in each kingdom’s political game, Luna and Fowler are more determined than ever to escape and build the life they’ve been dreaming of. But their own pasts have a tight hold on their hearts and their destinies. Luna must embrace the darkness and fire within her before she loses not only Fowler, but the power she was destined to inherit.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Rise of Fire?
Hm. Aside of the amazing cover that I had very little to do with? 😉 I love that it's dual POV, featuring both a hero and heroine. I also love that the heroine is blind.
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Romeo & What's Her Name
by Shani Petroff
Advance Reader Copy Giveaway
Understudies never get to perform.
. . . which is why being Juliet's understudy in the school's yearly "Evening with Shakespeare" is the perfect role for Emily. She can earn some much-needed extra credit while pursuing her main goal of spending time with Wes, aka Romeo, aka the hottest, nicest guy in school (in her completely unbiased opinion). And she meant to learn her lines, really, it's just:
a) Shakespeare is HARD,
b) Amanda, aka the "real" Juliet, makes her run errands instead of lines, and
c) there's no point because Amanda would never miss the chance to be the star of the show.
Then, Amanda ends up in the hospital and Emily, as the (completely unprepared!) understudy, has to star opposite the guy of her dreams. Oops?
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Romeo & What's Her Name?
I'm a huge romantic comedy fan, and I really wanted to write something light and funny, something to take people's minds off of things--and I hope I succeeded! Along with the humorous parts, my favorite thing about the book is the friendships. I have amazing female friends and that was something I wanted to give my main character, Emily, as well.
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by Chris Miles
Simon & Schuster Books
A boy who’s the last in his class to go through puberty tries to fake it till he makes it through a series of cringe-worthy and hilarious events in this balls-and-all coming-of-age novel that’s Judy Blume for boys!
Jack Sprigley isn’t just a late-bloomer. He’s a no-bloomer. He’s in the ninth grade, and puberty is still a total no-show.
Worse yet, he hasn’t heard from his friends all winter vacation. He assumes they’ve finally dumped him and his child-like body—except then he finds out that it’s much worse than that. His friends are now so far ahead of him that they’ve started dating and getting girlfriends. Jack is out of luck. But then he comes up with a plan to catch up and win his friends back. And his plan is perfect: he just has to fake puberty.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Spurt?
With SPURT I set out to write a genuinely comedic book. People have different senses of humour of course, and SPURT may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But I wanted to write a book that, rather than being incidentally funny because of a narrator’s quirky point of view or snarky asides, actually used the sorts of story and scene construction techniques you find in farce, sit-com and sketch comedies — all forms that I enjoy and admire very much.
Writing a book about puberty gave me so many ideas for cringeworthy set pieces and awkward conversations, and that’s what I relished most about writing SPURT: the chance to really go for broke and escalate the situation to painful degrees of discomfort for poor Jack Sprigley.
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To Catch a Killer
by Sheryl Scarborough
Erin Blake has one of those names. A name that, like Natalee Holloway or Elizabeth Smart, is inextricably linked to a grisly crime. As a toddler, Erin survived for three days alongside the corpse of her murdered mother, and the case—which remains unsolved—fascinated a nation. Her father's identity unknown, Erin was taken in by her mother's best friend and has become a relatively normal teen in spite of the looming questions about her past.
Fourteen years later, Erin is once again at the center of a brutal homicide when she finds the body of her biology teacher. When questioned by the police, Erin tells almost the whole truth, but never voices her suspicions that her mother's killer has struck again in order to protect the casework she's secretly doing on her own.
Inspired by her uncle, an FBI agent, Erin has ramped up her forensic hobby into a full-blown cold-case investigation. This new murder makes her certain she's close to the truth, but when all the evidence starts to point the authorities straight to Erin, she turns to her longtime crush (and fellow suspect) Journey Michaels to help her crack the case before it's too late.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about To Catch a Killer?
I LOVE the forensic science aspect of TO CATCH A KILLER. And the fact that my protagonist, Erin Blake learns these skills as part of her high school biology class is even sweeter. I would have killed to have had a class like that in high school. Well, maybe not killed. But I would have definitely been overly-excited about it. Although, that might have edged me toward a career in science and then this book wouldn’t exist.
The truth is I have been an avid fan of shows and books that feature forensics my whole life. And now, to actually be part of that genre is a thrill I can’t even describe. These are my favorite things about TO CATCH A KILLER.
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by L.E. DeLano
Jessa has spent her life dreaming of other worlds and writing down stories more interesting than her own, until the day her favorite character, Finn, suddenly shows up and invites her out for coffee. After the requisite nervous breakdown, Jessa learns that she and Finn are Travelers, born with the ability to slide through reflections and dreams into alternate realities. But it’s not all steampunk pirates and fantasy lifestyles: Jessa is dying over and over again, in every reality, and Finn is determined that this time, he’s going to stop it.
This Jessa is going to live.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Traveler?
I think the adventure of Jessa getting to be so many different versions of herself – to see how her life could have ended up so differently due to decisions or indecision or even a random act. Yet even with all these different incarnations, they all are fundamentally her, on the inside. Along with that, there’s pirate Finn! I fell head-over-heels in love writing him, I really did.
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At the Edge of the Universe
by Shaun David Hutchinson
From the author of We Are the Ants and The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley comes the heartbreaking story of a boy who believes the universe is slowly shrinking as things he remembers are being erased from others’ memories.
Tommy and Ozzie have been best friends since the second grade, and boyfriends since eighth. They spent countless days dreaming of escaping their small town—and then Tommy vanished.
More accurately, he ceased to exist, erased from the minds and memories of everyone who knew him. Everyone except Ozzie.
Ozzie doesn’t know how to navigate life without Tommy, and soon he suspects that something else is going on: that the universe is shrinking.
When Ozzie is paired up with new student Calvin on a physics project, he begins to wonder if Calvin could somehow be involved. But the more time they spend together, the harder it is for him to deny the feelings developing between them, even if he still loves Tommy.
But Ozzie knows there isn’t much time left to find Tommy—that once the door closes, it can’t be opened again. And he’s determined to keep it open as long as it takes to get his boyfriend back.
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YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERSExo by Fonda Lee: MaCaila S.
Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley: Anne S.
MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS
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Crazy Messy Beautiful
by Carrie Arcos
From National Book Award finalist Carrie Arcos--a fresh take on happily ever after, and friendship, that is anything but a love story.
When your namesake is Pablo Neruda, the greatest love poet of all time, finding the one should be easy. After all, sixteen-year-old aspiring artist Neruda Diaz has been in love many times before. So it's only a matter of time before someone loves him back.
Callie could be that someone. She's creative and edgy, and nothing like the girls Neruda typically falls for, so when a school assignment brings them together, he is pleasantly surprised to learn they have a lot in common. With his true love in reach and his artistic ambitions on track, everything is finally coming together.
But as Neruda begins to fall faster and harder than ever before, he is blindsided by the complicated nature of love and art in more ways than one. And when the relationships he's looked to for guidance threaten to implode, Neruda must confront the reality that love is crazier, messier, and more beautiful than he ever realized and riskier, too, than simply saying the words.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Crazy Messy Beautiful?
My favorite thing about CRAZY MESSY BEAUTIFUL is my main character, Neruda Diaz. He's this romantic, awkward, funny, portrait artist who is desperate to find the love that he has grown up reading about through Pablo Neruda's poetry. He's named after Neruda, so you'd think he'd be lucky in love, but he is far from it. I'm not exactly sure when the idea for my Neruda came to me. I found myself thinking of Pablo Neruda, one of my favorite poets. I remembered that I was introduced to the poet through a former HS student of mine years ago. He was really into Neruda and even wrote his own poetry. I thought, hmm...what if...and then Neruda Diaz's voice just came strong and clear. He's a boy I would've been good friends with in HS.
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by Arwen Elys Dayton
For readers of Sarah J. Maas and of Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy comes Disruptor, the sequel to Traveler, the thrilling conclusion to the Seeker series.
Quin has spent her life as her father’s pawn. She was trained to kill and manipulated to guarantee her family’s power. And now that she’s broken free of that life, she’s found herself trapped again, hostage to a plot that has been centuries in the making.
It’s taken generations for the pieces to come together, and finally all is in place. Her best friend Shinobu’s mind has been corrupted, the Young Dread has aligned with her enemy John, and the bloodthirsty Watchers are being awakened and gathered. Now there is nothing that can stop the force of time.
But Quin will no longer be a pawn. Quin is a Seeker. She stands for light in a shadowy world. She will face the vengeance of the past and its enemies and save herself and the ones she loves, or she will die trying.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Disruptor?
The characters—especially John!—continue to change in unexpected ways. Many story threads that began in the first two books have gathered momentum and are ready to sweep Quin and Shinobu and John and Maud away in DISRUPTOR. The origin and original purpose of Seekers comes to light, and we get to the heart of the chaos between Seeker families. I hope very much that you are surprised and frustrated and delighted by all the ways these characters come together and fall apart in the face of extreme challenges.
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Guardian of Secrets
by Brenda Drake
Being a Sentinel isn’t all fairytales and secret gardens.
Sure, jumping through books into the world’s most beautiful libraries to protect humans from mystical creatures is awesome. No one knows that better than Gia Kearns, but she could do without the part where people are always trying to kill her. Oh, and the fact that Pop and her had to move away from her friends and life as she knew it.
And if that isn’t enough, her boyfriend, Arik, is acting strangely. Like, maybe she should be calling him “ex,” since he’s so into another girl. But she doesn’t have time to be mad or even jealous, because someone has to save the world from the upcoming apocalypse, and it looks like that’s going to be Gia.
Maybe. If she survives.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Guardian of Secrets?
I love many things about GUARDIAN OF SECRETS. I had so much fun writing this novel. I would have to say the relationships in this volume are my favorite. Gia struggles with some relationships and depends on others. Gia and Nick are in hiding with the Sentinels and we get a closer look at the dynamics between some of the characters. There’s jealousies, frustrations, and love brewing in the small town they now call home. How Gia handles these situations gives the reader more insight into who she is. The growth she undergoes prepares her for what’s coming in book three.
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Island of Exiles
by Erica Cameron
In this diverse, gritty survival fantasy, a girl warrior turns against her island clan to find the brother they claim died, uncovering secrets. Perfect for fans of Graceling and Snow Like Ashes.
In Khya’s world, every breath is a battle.
On the isolated desert island of Shiara, dying young is inevitable. The clan comes before self, and protecting her home means Khya is a warrior above all else.
But when following the clan and obeying their leaders could cost her brother his life, Khya's home becomes a deadly trap. The only person who can help is Tessen, her lifelong rival and the boy who challenges her at every turn. The council she hoped to join has betrayed her, and their secrets, hundreds of years deep, reach around a world she's never seen.
To save her brother’s life and her island home, her only choice is to trust Tessen, turn against her clan, and go on the run—a betrayal and a death sentence.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Island of Exiles?
All of my favorite sci-fi/fantasy novels have one thing in common: the stories all take place in a world I would love to visit. Or live in. Forever. While I can’t say I would love to live specifically on Shiara—it’s a dangerous island, and I honestly don’t know if I’d survive there for long—the world is still one of my favorite things about this series. For whatever reason, forests are far more common than deserts in stories about magic, so not only is the island unusual for a fantasy setting, so is the society I built to occupy it. They’re militaristic without being twistedly bloody-minded, and they’re equal in a lot of ways our society is still struggling with. Despite the issues within the culture—and there are definitely issues; no human culture is perfect—I’m proud of the shape my world has taken, and it is almost definitely my favorite part of ISLAND OF EXILES. Almost. Maybe not. Top five, though, for sure.
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The Sky between You and Me
by Catherine Alene
Lighter. Leaner. Faster.
Raesha will do whatever it takes to win Nationals. For her, competing isn't just about the speed of her horse or the thrill of the win. It's about honoring her mother's memory and holding on to a dream they once shared.
Lighter. Leaner. Faster.
For an athlete, every second counts. Raesha knows minus five on the scale will let her sit deeper in the saddle, make her horse lighter on her feet. And lighter, leaner, faster gives her the edge she needs over the new girl on the team, a girl who keeps flirting with Raesha's boyfriend and making plans with her best friend.
So Raesha focuses on minus five. But if she isn't careful, she will lose more than just the people she loves. She will lose herself to Lighter. Leaner. Faster.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Sky between You and Me?
My favorite parts of this book to write were the scenes that involved animals! Whether it’s Raesha’s cattle dog, Blue, or her horse, Fancy, each and every animal in this piece has a personality all their own. Blue is tough enough to chase cattle into the belly of a stock trailer but sensitive enough to feel every shift in Raesha’s mood. Fancy is focused enough to earn the fastest barrel racing times in the Nation but silly enough to sidle up to Raesha for a lick of a vanilla soft-serve cone.
I often joke that this is the only young adult novel currently on the market that features a poem that describes the process of running an intranasal tube down a horse’s esophagus. I’m not sure if this is true or not (though I’m guessing it is) but scenes like this are integral to the plot. Like their human counterparts, the animals in this book are fully formed characters. We see them sick and we see them well. We see the sacrifices that those who care for them make and, in the process, get to know and understand Raesha more fully than we otherwise would.
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MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK
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Empress of a Thousand Skies
by Rhoda Belleza
Rhee, also known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne.
Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a holo-vision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he's forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation—and his life.
With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.
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by Nikki Kelly
Feiwel & Friends
The conclusion of the Styclar Saga trilogy focuses on Jonah, the vampire badboy with a hunger for Lailah and a rivalry with the angel Gabriel.
Jonah is the vampire who saved Lailah from the appetites of even darker evil: the vampire Purebloods. Now he must decide whether he will give up his existence so that Lailah will survive—even if it means that she will spend eternity with his friend and rival, the angel Gabriel.
This stunning conclusion to the Styclar Saga will have fans deciding once and for all: Team Jonah or Team Gabriel?
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by Victoria Aveyard
In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl's spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?
Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother's web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.
As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare's heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.
When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.
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Nowhere Near You
by Leah Thomas
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Following up her acclaimed debut, Because You'll Never Meet Me, Leah Thomas continues the stories of Ollie and Moritz in another heart-warming story of unique friendship.
Ollie and Moritz might never meet, but their friendship knows no bounds. Their letters carry on as Ollie embarks on his first road trip away from the woods--no easy feat for a boy allergic to electricity--and Moritz decides which new school would best suit an eyeless boy who prefers to be alone.
Along the way they meet other teens like them, other products of strange science who lead seemingly normal lives in ways Ollie and Moritz never imagined possible: A boy who jokes about his atypical skeleton; an aspiring actress who hides a strange deformity; a track star whose abnormal heart propels her to victory. Suddenly the future feels wide open for two former hermits. But even as Ollie and Moritz dare to enjoy life, they can't escape their past, which threatens to destroy any progress they've made. Can these boys ever find their place in a world that might never understand them?
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Right Behind You
by Lisa Gardner
Lisa Gardner's next thriller following her runaway New York Times bestseller Find Her takes her wildly popular brand of suspense to new heights.
Is he a hero?
Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash’s older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah has finally moved on. About to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, Sharlah loves one thing best about her new family: They are all experts on monsters.
Is he a killer?
Then the call comes in. A double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah’s older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun.
All she knows for sure: He’s back.
As the clock winds down on a massive hunt for Telly, Quincy and Rainie must answer two critical questions: Why after eight years has this young man started killing again? And what does this mean for Sharlah? Once upon a time, Sharlah’s big brother saved her life. Now, she has two questions of her own: Is her brother a hero or a killer? And how much will it cost her new family before they learn the final, shattering truth? Because as Sharlah knows all too well, the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.
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by Melissa Landers
When Princess Cassia Rose fled her home world of Eturia to escape an arranged marriage, she had no idea her sudden departure would spark a war. Now after two years hiding as a ship hand, she is finally returning to her beloved home, but not in the way she imagined. Shackled by bounty hunters, she is violently dragged back to account for her crimes. Her only solace is that the Banshee crew managed to evade capture, including Kane Arric, her best friend ... with occasional benefits.
Meanwhile, Kane and the rest of the crew of the Banshee plan a desperate rescue mission. But when they arrive on Eturia, Cassia isn't exactly in need of heroics—she's claimed her birthright as Eturia's queen, but has inherited a war-torn planet simmering with rebellion. Cassia must make alliances, and Kane, the bastard son of a merchant, isn't a choice that will earn her any friends. Kane knows he will never find someone to replace Cassia—and is certain she returns his feelings—but how can he throw away his own promising future waiting on a queen?
When the outer realm is threatened by the dangerous Zhang mafia, Cassia, Kane and the rest of the Banshee crew uncover a horrifying conspiracy that endangers the entire universe. In the face of unspeakable evil, Cassia must confront her own family's complicated legacy on Eturia and decide once and for all who her real family is.
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by S. Jae-Jones
A Thomas Dunne Book for St. Ma
All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.
But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.
Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.
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