Usborne has bought a middle grade magical fantasy from a former gaming programmer following a “hotly contested auction” against three other publishers.
The company’s fiction editorial director Rebecca Hill acquired world English language rights to The Piper of Patterfall and a second untitled novel in the series by S A Patrick, from Luigi Bonomi at LBA Books Ltd for a “good five-figure sum”.
Usborne plans to launch the first title, aimed at fans of The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia, in spring 2018 as one of its lead middle grade titles. The second book will follow nine months later.
Hill said: “I've been looking for a perfectly-pitched middle grade fantasy adventure series to add to Usborne's list, and The Piper of Patterfall by S A Patrick was well worth the wait. Fantastically written, with vivid world building, this epic magical quest is brilliantly gripping and feels hugely commercial.”
An Usborne spokesperson said: "Perfectly pitched for readers aged from nine to 12, The Piper of Patterfall sings with the language of magic and dragons, hums with humour and love, and tremors with the booming bass of epic battles. But above all it is a story of the bravery of two young people who have to battle against huge odds."
Patrick studied mathematics at Cambridge before beginning a career in programming within the gaming industry. The Piper of Patterfall is his first novel for children.
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