Hodder has pre-empted a "sumptuous" YA duology set in 19th-century Italy from Kerri Maniscalco to publish this autumn.
Commissioning editor Molly Powell signed UK and Commonwealth rights from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. The first novel, Kingdom of the Wicked, will be published on 27th October 2020.
The book features two sisters, Emilia and Vittoria, who are both witches, living secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. The book's synopsis reads on: "But when Emilia finds her sister’s body, desecrated beyond belief, she sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost...".
Powell called Kingdom of the Wicked "atmospheric, seductive and sumptuous", adding: "with its smouldering romance and dark mystery, it kept me up reading far too late, feverishly turning pages to find out what happened next! I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to publish it in the UK. Maniscalco is a serious talent."
Maniscalco said: "When I started drafting Kingdom of the Wicked, I thought about the kind of book I love reading—a lush fantasy, filled with mystery, layers of tension, characters I can root for, seemingly impossible odds, romance, and magic that flitters around the edges of our world. Books are my favourite escape, and I hope readers get swept up in this dark, alternate version of historical Sicily where witches and demons secretly roam the streets. I’ve been a long-time fan of Hodder, and the enthusiasm from Molly and the whole team for Kingdom of the Wicked has been beyond my wildest dreams. I seriously couldn’t have found a better home for this book, and I’m so excited for what’s to come."
Kingdom of the Wicked will publish in hardback and e-book in October 2020.