Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents Daniel José Older's music-and-magic-filled YA urban fantasy about two teens who discover each other and their powers during a political battle within a unique diaspora community.
"Brimming with mystery, mayhem, and heart, Ballad and Dagger gives us wondrous new magic steeped in deep traditions. It's a gorgeous romance, a wild adventure, and a powerful story that unravels not only the pain of diaspora, but the strength of community and the ways we provide refuge for one another."--Leigh Bardugo, New York Times #1 best-selling author of Shadow and Bone.
Almost sixteen years ago, Mateo Matisse's island homeland disappeared into the sea. Weary and hopeless, the survivors of San Madrigal's sinking escaped to New York.
While the rest of his tight-knit Brooklyn diaspora community dreams of someday finding a way back home, Mateo--now a high school junior and piano prodigy living with his two aunts (one who's alive, the other not so much)--is focused on one thing: getting the attention of locally-grown musical legend Gerval. Mateo finally gets his chance on the night of the Grand Fete, an annual party celebrating the blended culture of pirates, Cuban Santeros, and Sephardic Jews that created San Madrigal all those centuries ago.
But the evil that sank their island has finally caught up with them, and on the night of the celebration, Mateo's life is forever changed when he witnesses a brutal murder by a person he thought he knew.
Suddenly Mateo is thrust into an ancient battle that spans years and oceans. Deadly secrets are unraveled and Mateo awakens a power within himself--a power that not only links him to the killer but could also hold the key to unlocking the dark mystery behind his lost homeland.
From the author of the award-winning Shadowshaper Cypher series comes the first novel in the Outlaw Saints duology--a brilliant story that will transport readers to a world where magic, myth, and gods reign over the streets of Brooklyn.
Don't miss these other Rick Riordan Presents titles for all ages:
Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos HernandezDragon Pearl by Yoon Ha LeeTristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame MbaliaPaola Santiago and the River of Tears by Tehlor Kay Mejia
Fifteen years after the free Caribbean island nation of San Madrigal sank into the sea during a hurricane, its peoples pirates, Santeros, and Sefaradim live in "what feels like a double diaspora," Brooklyn's neighborhood of Little Madrigal. Among them is aspiring musician Mateo Matisse, who has trouble finding his place in the community after spending years traveling with his doctor parents. During a celebration, he learns that he is an initiated child of the god Galanika, destined to channel the spirit's healing power and along with the initiates of the other two original spirits help bring back the lost island. Initially resisting the role, Mateo must embrace it when Little Madrigal is rocked by violence and political infighting. Alongside quiet rabbi's daughter Chela Hidalgo, initiate to the destroyer god Okanla, Mateo discovers San Madrigal's buried history, and the two challenge their deepest understanding of their lost home. In this engrossing duology starter, the Riordan imprint's first YA offering, Older (Flood City) explores themes of diaspora, colonialism, and identity via a vibrantly conceived, folklore-tinged urban fantasy that never loses sight of its immediate human elements, including a strong sense of community and blossoming attraction between its 16-year-old protagonists. Ages 12 up. Agent: Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary.