Gollancz has scooped the first book for adults by bestselling Grishaverse YA author Leigh Bardugo in a six-figure deal.
Commissioning editor Rachel Winterbottom acquired UK and Commonwealth rights for Ninth House and one sequel from Flatiron Books at Macmillan US. It will be published in hardback, ebook and audio on 1st October 2019.
Ninth House follows school dropout Galaxy ‘Alex’ Stern who is drawn into the occult dealings of Yale University’s secret societies to solve a murder. The synopsis explains: “Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full scholarship.
“What’s the catch, and why her? Still searching for answers, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies, known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive. They tamper with forbidden magic. They raise the dead. And, sometimes, they prey on the living.”
The news comes after Netflix announced a series based on Bardugo's Hachette Children’s Group novels set in a small island nation known as the "Grishaverse". Bardugo’s books have been published in more than 40 languages, with her Grishaverse spanning the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, the Six of Crows Duology, The Language of Thorns, and King of Scars.
She said: “This story began nearly 20 years ago, when I got my first glimpse of a mausoleum big enough to be an office building - right in the middle of the Yale campus. It's about murder and magic, but also about power and privilege and what it means to be a young woman who is out of second chances.”
Winterbottom added: “We are so thrilled to be welcoming Leigh Barudgo to Gollancz house for her first adult novel. She is an exceptional talent and Ninth House has all the Leigh trademarks we love – it’s breathtakingly imaginative, sharply humorous and full of complicated characters you’ll instantly adore, all set against a hidden world just one step away from our own. We cannot wait to invite everyone in.”
Bardugo's agent, Joanna Volpe at New Leaf, said: “Leigh first told me about this project eight years ago, as the story she had been burning to write—the dark and dangerous mysteries surrounding Yale’s secret societies. While she had other deadlines to contend with first, she kept coming back to Ninth House. I couldn’t be happier about the book finally making its way to the shelves soon, and we’re delighted to be working with Gollancz on bringing it to readers around the world.”