Gollancz has acquired Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean, a debut YA fantasy set in a world inspired by ancient Japan, in which women with the ability to shift into monsters train to steal men’s fortunes.
Rachel Winterbottom, commissioning editor at Gollancz, bought UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) from Charlotte Bodman at Rights People on behalf of Erin Harris at Folio Literary Management.
The feminist book features a deadly tournament where women compete to marry the prince and become empress. All, except yōkai (those with the ability to turn into a supernatural monster, whom the emperor is intent to enslave and destroy), can enter. Mari is sure she can win, but if she fails to hide her dangerous secret her life will be over.
Winterbottom said: "With its rich setting, breakneck plot and powerful girls in an unjust world, Emiko’s Empress of all Seasons tells an extraordinary story about power and prejudice. Readers are clamouring for more books by incredible, diverse voices and the noise and enthusiasm from bloggers for Empress of all Seasons, a book inspired by Emiko’s Japanese heritage, has really resonated with us. We’re so pleased to be the UK publisher for this truly remarkable book."
Empress of All Seasons will publish in November 2018 in mass-market paperback, e-book and audio.