cover image Immortal Longings

Immortal Longings

Chloe Gong. Saga, $28.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-66800-022-9

Bestselling YA author Gong (Foul Lady Fortune) probes her characters’ sense of identity in her wonderfully high-concept adult fantasy debut and Flesh and False Gods series launch, a clever riff on Antony and Cleopatra. Five years before the start of the novel, Princess Calla Tuoleimi of Talin murdered her own parents and went into hiding. Now, as Talin holds its annual gladiatorial-style games in the twin cities of San-Er, Calla reappears to finish what she’s started: kill the king, her uncle, and bring an end to inequality and poverty. Prince August Shenzhi, her cousin, aids her with this treasonous plan, but to complete it, she must first win the tournament. The inhabitants of Talin can jump between bodies at will, and royal exile Anton Makusa hopes to use this trick to win the games himself and put the prize toward keeping his comatose lover alive. As the games unfold, Calla and Anton strike an unlikely alliance that blossoms into a love affair—but only one can win, and to become victor, the star-crossed lovers will have to break their bond. Though this outing owes debts to both Shakespeare and The Hunger Games, the intricate magic system feels entirely fresh. Gong keeps the pages flying with pulse-pounding action, tension, and intrigue, creating an adventure that will linger in readers’ minds long after the last page. Agent: Laura Crockett, Triada US Literary. (July)