Walker Books is to release a "pacy teen fantasy adventure" from debut author Ann Sei Lin, after securing the Rebel Skies series in a pre-empt.
The first adventure story, also named, Rebel Skies, follows 14-year-old Kurara, a lifelong servant on board the Midori – a giant flying banquet hall. But when her party trick of making paper come to life turns out to be a power treasured across the empire, she joins a skyship and its motley crew to become a Crafter. Taught by the gruff but wise Himura, Kurara learns to hunt shikigami – wild paper spirits sought after by the Princess. But are these creatures just powerful slaves, or are they beings with their own souls? And can a teenage girl be the one to help them find their voice – and change the course of an empire?
The synopsis further explains: "With excellent world-building, a dramatic plot, and an array of deep and believable characters – explored through multiple perspectives – Rebel Skies is a hugely exciting fantasy adventure debut. Inspired by Japanese culture and mythology, as well as the author’s own Singaporean heritage."
World rights for the series were acquired by commissioning editor Gráinne Clear in a pre-empt from Lina Langlee at the North Literary Agency. Rebel Skies, the first in a trilogy set in a world of skyships, flying cities and powerful paper spirits, will publish in March 2022.
Lin said: “What fascinates me most about paper is the idea of possibility. Paper can fold into any shape. It can be a canvas for any painting, or the pages of any story. Like many young people, Kurara is a character who must carve her own place in a world full of terror and possibility. I couldn’t ask for a better home for this novel than with Walker Books and I’m beyond thrilled to be working with Gráinne to bring Rebel Skies to the world.”
Clear added: “So much of this fantastic book revolves around the tensions between those with power and those without – and with young people finding and fighting for their own place in the world, and interrogating the prejudices and inequalities of the past and present, I can’t imagine a more perfect book for today’s teen fantasy reader. I am so proud to be publishing this series with its flying ships, living origami and standout female lead, and to welcome Ann Sei Lin to the Walker list.”
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