Simon & Schuster Children’s Books has bagged a "deliciously dark" speculative series from a new voice in YA literature, debut author Finn Longman.
The Butterfly Assassin is the first title in a two-book deal made by Amina Youssef, commissioning editor, who acquired world rights from Jessica Hare at The Agency. The book will launch in May 2022 with a sequel following in 2023.
The thriller is set in the divided fictional city of Espera and follows Isabel Ryans, who has been trained and traumatised by a secret assassin program for minors, and is now yearning for a new life as a civilian. But when Isabel blows her cover by impulsively murdering a burglar, she draws the attention of the guilds – the two organisations who control Espera. An unaffiliated killer like Isabel is either a potential asset or a threat to be eliminated.
Youssef said: "Every so often a manuscript lands in your inbox and you gulp it down so fast you almost forget to breathe. The Butterfly Assassin is that book. It’s deliciously dark, utterly unique and completely unputdownable. Pair that with a badass character and richly imagined world-building and you’ve got yourself a winner. I couldn’t be more delighted to welcome Finn Longman to our stellar S&S YA list and to be starting this editorial journey with them."
Longman is a queer disabled writer and medievalist, originally from London. A Cambridge graduate, Longman is now studying for an MA in early and medieval Irish.
They said: "I'm thrilled that The Butterfly Assassin has found a home at Simon & Schuster. Isabel has been living in my head for a very long time, and I can't wait to finally share her story with the world. Amina Youssef, my editor, and Jessica Hare, my agent, have both been so enthusiastic about this book and the world I've created, and I'm looking forward to seeing where we'll take it next."