cover image Tonight, I Burn

Tonight, I Burn

Katharine J. Adams. Orbit, $18.99 trade paper (480p) ISBN 978-0-316-55181-6

The veil between life and death proves thin in Adams’s gripping debut. Penelope “Penny” Albright, youngest granddaughter of the Thorn Queen, matriarch of a coven of “death-walking” witches, is distraught when her favorite sister, Ella, fails to return from the realm of Death. Penny illegally crosses the veil to retrieve her sister and finds that she’s being held by the mysterious yet alluring Lord Malin. He agrees to release Ella on the condition that Penny will spy on the Warden, the corrupt ruler of all five covens on the living side, for 30 nights. Though burning herself at the stake each night to sneak into the realm of Death and deliver her report proves nearly impossible, unlikely allies come to her aid, among them Alice, a beautiful enslaved seer, and the Resistance, a brewing rebellion scheming to tear down the Warden’s tyrannical rule. If the Warden catches wind of Penny’s activities, she and all her loved ones will be in peril. Penny’s wry voice brings some fun to Adams’s dark but impactful worldbuilding, while plenty of twists keep the pages turning. Fans of gothic fantasies will be hooked. Agent: Ernie Chiara, Fuse Literary. (Nov.)