Usborne buys UK rights to Sierra Leone-inspired fantasy

Usborne buys UK rights to Sierra Leone-inspired fantasy

Usborne has acquired the UK and Commonwealth rights to Namina Forna’s Deathless, a debut YA fantasy inspired by the author’s experience of the Sierra Leone civil war.

Fiction editor Becky Walker struck a deal for three novels, the Deathless trilogy, with Alice Sutherland-Hawes from Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency in a “hotly-contested” three-way auction. US rights have already sold to Delacorte Press for a six-figure sum in a deal announced at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

The trilogy is set in a deeply patriarchal society called Otera, where a woman’s worth is tied to her purity, and is “empowering and powerful”, according to Walker.

Deathless asks questions of the patriarchal society at its heart, and the place of women in our own world – and, in the character of Deka, gives us an heroine whose extraordinary voice will thrum with any reader who picks this series up. Namina is an astonishing new talent, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome her to the Usborne list, and to share Deka’s story far and wide.”

Deathless will be published in spring 2020.