Solaris has scooped a "stunning" new novel from author Yoon Ha Lee based in a fantasy version of Japanese-occupied Korea.
Editor David Thomas Moore acquired world English rights in Phoenix Extravagant from Jennifer Jackson at the Donald Maass Literary Agency. It will be published in the UK on 11th June 2020.
"Gyen Jebi isn’t a fighter or a subversive. Just an artist. One day they’re jobless and desperate; the next, Jebi finds themself recruited by the Ministry of Armor to paint the mystical sigils that animate the occupying government’s automaton soldiers," reads the synopsis. "But when Jebi discovers the depths of the Razanei government’s horrifying crimes—and the awful source of the magical pigments they use—they find they can no longer stay out of politics. What they can do is steal Arazi, the ministry’s mighty dragon automaton, and find a way to fight."
Lee's novel Ninefox Gambit (Solaris) was released in 2016 and and was shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke, Hugo, and Nebula Awards. It won the Best First Novel Award in the Locus Awards and a Reddit Fantasy Award.
Lee said: "I never thought that taking up watercolor painting would result in a book about a nonbinary painter, colonialism, and a pacifist mecha-dragon, but here I am! Phoenix Extravagant takes place in a fantasy version of Korea during the Japanese occupation — I hope you find it as intriguing to read as it was to write."
Moore added: "This book is stunning. It has profound beauty, it has (literally) earthshaking magic, it has family both birth and found, it has a great heaping helping of revolution, and it has a frickin' dragon. Yoon's told a remarkable story about a gentle, thoughtful person who has to do desperate things and why; more than anything, it's about the human spirit."