Gollancz has acquired a fantasy trilogy by Den Patrick set in a pseudo-Renaissance Italy for a pre-emptive six-figure deal.
Deputy publishing director Simon Spanton bought world rights in the three books from Juliet Mushens at The Agency Group, in her first deal for the new UK literary division at the agency.
The first three books are called The Erebus Sequence, and each book will centre on a different protagonist. The first novel, The Boy with the Porcelain Ears, follows the fate of Lucien 'Sinestra' De Fontein as he attempts to find his place among the nobility. Each novel will focus on the Orfano; deformed orphans left on the steps of the Great Houses.
Spanton said: "Den is an author with a vivid imagination, a slyly effective way with words and huge enthusiasm, who also has a fantastic grasp of plot, a wonderful sense of setting but, most importantly, an extraordinary and warm understanding of character. Novels are all about establishing empathy between character and reader and Den, first time out, is already a master at this. It's hugely exciting to be publishing his first novel."