Transworld has won two books in a new fantasy series at auction.
Simon Taylor, editorial director at the Penguin Random House division, bought UK and Commonwealth rights for the titles by debut author Sam Hawke, from Diana Gill, executive editor for Tor US.
City of Lies is the first book in The Poison War series by the Australian author, represented by Julie Crisp Literary Agency, and will be published in hardback in the UK August 2018.
Outwardly, Jovan is the lifelong friend of the chancellor’s charming, irresponsible heir, the blurb reads. However in secret, he's a master of poisons and chemicals, trained to protect the chancellor’s family from treachery. When the chancellor succumbs to an unknown poison and an army lays siege to the city, Jovan and his sister Kalina must protect the heir and save their city-state.
Taylor said: "It’s all too easy to say 'I love it' about something one’s reading, but I and my colleagues loved Sam Hawke’s City of Lies – an epic fantasy debut that felt as fresh as it was totally engaging and page-turning."
He added: "We’re chuffed to pieces to be introducing this exceptional novelist to UK readers and I know the team at Penguin Random House Australia, which is Sam’s home turf after all, are similarly thrilled."
Hawke, who works in law and is based in Canberra, said: "As an Aussie I’m so excited to be working with Transworld to bring City of Lies direct to UK, Australian and New Zealand readers."
Gill said: "I'm delighted that Transworld will be publishing City of Lies and that Sam will be joining their select science fiction list along with authors like Steven Erikson, Erika Johansen and the much-missed Terry Pratchett."