Alison Hennessey, publishing director of Bloomsbury Publishing's Raven Books, has sealed a two-book deal after a "passionately fought" auction for The Leviathan and The Puzzle Wood by debut author Helen-Rose (Rosie) Andrews.
UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada), including audio, were acquired from Sam Copeland at RCW in a "major" deal. The Leviathan will be a lead debut publication at Raven Books in 2022, with The Puzzle Wood set to follow in 2024.
The Leviathan will open in 1643, when reluctant soldier Thomas Treadwater is summoned home from the English Civil War by a letter from his young sister, making allegations of an improper relationship between their father and an attractive new servant. By the time he returns, his father has been felled and their new servant is in prison, facing charges of witchcraft. Thomas prides himself on being a rational, modern man, but as he tries to unravel what happened and who he can trust, he uncovers not a tale of witchcraft, but something much older and darker, linked to a shipwreck some years before. Sixty years later, the story will finally reach a "dark and shocking" conclusion.
Hennessey said: "The Leviathan could not have been a more perfect novel for Raven Books; a beguiling, atmospheric but also hugely ambitious and original tale in the themes it explores. It sent a shiver down my spine while taking me somewhere entirely unexpected. Rosie is a fantastic new talent and I could not be more delighted to be publishing her astonishing debut in 2022."
Andrews commented: "I am honoured to be starting this journey with Raven Books, and so excited to be working with Alison and her team. I have loved many titles published by Raven Books since the imprint launched, and I know my book has found the best possible home."
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