An unforgettable, New York Times bestselling fantasy adventure for fans of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES, SHADOW AND BONE and THE GILDED ONES. Soon to be a major Netflix movie.
'The hunt for your next YA fantasy book trilogy obsession has ended' Entertainment Weekly
'The next big thing in YA fantasy . . . Dazzling' Kirkus
'A fast-paced, rip-roaring ride . . . A masterpiece of magic' - Namina Forna, New York Times bestselling author of The Gilded Ones
Magic doesn't exist in the broken city of Lkossa anymore, especially for girls like sixteen-year-old Koffi. Indentured to the notorious Night Zoo, she cares for its fearsome mythical creatures to pay off her family's debts. But when they are threatened by the Zoo's cruel master, Koffi unleashes a power she doesn't fully understand.
As the son of a decorated hero, Ekon destined to become an elite warrior. Until a fire at the Night Zoo upends his future and, on the brink of his final rite of passage, Ekon is cast out - his reputation left in tatters.
For Koffi and Ekon, the outlook is bleak - unless they can capture the Shetani, the vicious monster that plagues their city. As Koffi and Ekon enter the Greater Jungle, a world steeped in wild magic and danger, the tentative alliance between them is tested to the extreme.
The hunt begins - but are they the hunters or the hunted?
An extraordinary adventure inspired by Pan-African mythology, from exciting debut author Ayana Gray.
Gray's imaginative debut traces the twined fates of 16-year-old Koffi and 17-year-old Ekon, a pair of Black teenagers living in the corrupt fictional jungle city of Lkossa. Once a haven for magic users called darajas, a terrible earthquake known as the Rupture led to their ostracization, driving magic underground. When Koffi a beastkeeper whose family debts have indentured her to the Night Zoo runs afoul of the zoo's cruel owner, she unleashes a torrent of power that can only be magic. Her life intersects with Ekon's after she rescues him from an ancient murderous creature called the Shetani, which has long threatened Lkossa; when he allows Koffi to flee, he forfeits his birthright as an elite warrior. Concealing divergent aims, the pair together pursues the Shetani through the dark, magical reaches of the Greater Jungle. As Koffi and Ekon ally in an attempt to outmaneuver their prey, even as enemies hunt them in turn, Gray's lush, vivid descriptions enliven the twisting narrative, which is steeped in Pan-African mythology. The protagonists achieve a rich emotional depth complemented by the fast-paced action, and a light romantic element lends the plot additional support. Ages 12 up. Agent: Peter Knapp, Park & Fine Literary and Media.