cover image In the Ravenous Dark

In the Ravenous Dark

A.M. Strickland. Imprint, $18.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-250-77660-0

Ever since her blue-haired, golden-eyed father, an unregistered bloodmage, was slain for refusing to serve the king of Thanopolis, Rovan Ballacra has carefully hidden her own blue hair and powers. When Rovan, now 19, accidentally reveals her abilities more than a decade later, she’s promptly captured and soon magically bound to Ivrilos, a black-haired, long-dead 23-year-old man who serves as both Rovan’s guardian and enforcer of the king’s will. Now imbued with her family’s potent magical bloodline, Rovan becomes a pawn in a dangerous political game, expected to marry a royal to preserve the power and protect Thanopolis from an unnatural blight that has consumed most of the outside world. While fighting to save herself and those she loves, pansexual, polyamorous Rovan juggles feelings for both Ivrilos and the passionate Princess Lydea, and befriends nonbinary, asexual Japha. In this complicated dark fantasy, Strickland (Beyond the Black Door) conjures a seductive world with a largely pale-skinned cast where blood and shadow magics intertwine. At times the setting feels more atmospheric than descriptive, but the fast-paced plot and romantic themes will appeal. Ages 15–up. [em]Agent: Hannah Bowman, Liza Dawson Assoc. (May) [/em]