Titan Books has signed Hannah Mathewson's “beautiful and lyrical portal fantasy novel” set in an alternative universe London.
The two-book deal for UK and Commonwealth English was struck between Titan Books’ senior editor Cat Camacho and Zoe Plant for The Bent Agency. Witherward will be published in February 2021, with a second title scheduled to follow a year later.
Mathewson's debut is pitched as "a beautiful and lyrical portal fantasy novel” set in an alternative universe London," by Titan Books. It follows the rivalries of six magic factions – each with their own extraordinary talents – that threaten to upset the fragile accords that have held the city together for decades.
The synopsis reads: "Witherward follows the story of a shapeshifting Changeling who has spent the first 17 years of her life marooned in the wrong London, one where magic is seen as devilry and relegated to secrecy in the darkest corners of the city. Dragged through a portal to Witherward she finds a version of her city that is truly her home, but is also on the brink of a magical civil war. Beset by enemies on all sides, surrounded by supposed Changeling allies wearing faces that may not be their own, now she must use all the tricks up her sleeve simply to stay alive."
Camacho said: "I'm absolutely incredibly to have Hannah join the list; she has crafted a delightfully intriguing world in exquisite detail, peopled with vivid characters who spring from the page," with the author adding "I’m thrilled thatWitherward has found the perfect home at Titan. I’m so proud of this world and these characters and it’s surreal that soon it will be out there on shelves and others will get to meet them."
Mathewson is based in Norwich and has had short stories published by the Molotov Cocktail and the Fiction Desk, who presented her with the Writer’s Award for her contribution to their anthology, Separations. Witherward is her first novel.