cover image Five Broken Blades

Five Broken Blades

Mai Corland. Red Tower, $32.99 (512p) ISBN 978-1-64937-690-9

Corland’s debut adult fantasy (after the middle grade novel Emma and the Love Spell, written as Meredith Ireland) takes readers on a wild ride through a world inspired by Korean history and legend. The lives of five highly skilled individuals interweave into an intricate and high-stakes plot to overthrow the immortal King Joon. Sora, a seductive assassin sold into the service of a cruel count, grapples with her forced training as she works to secure freedom for herself and her ailing sister. Royo, a reluctant brute, gets entangled in the scheme thanks to Aeri, an exceptional thief, who hires him as muscle. Meanwhile, King Joon’s own brother, Prince Euyn, who has a brutal past, seizes the chance to reclaim the throne presented by his ex-lover, Mikail, the royal spymaster and the mastermind behind this conspiracy. The group’s mission: to remove the enchanted crown that grants King Joon immortality. Along the way, their individual stories unfold and secrets unravel, forcing each member of the team to question whom they can trust. The heist is suspenseful, the characters are well-shaded, and the world is richly imagined. Skillfully combining espionage, fantasy, romance, and a quest for justice, this marks Corland as an exciting new voice. Agent: Lauren Spieller, Folio Literary. (May)