Just a whisker ahead of the World Fantasy Convention, it's seems fitting that an amazing new fantasy talent should appear. And, even more excitingly, I've acquired her books for Tor UK! Without further ado, I'm delighted to announce that the newest member of Team Tor is debut author Lucy Hounsom -- and I've acquired her fabulous epic fantasy Starborn and sequel for the Tor UK list. Our press release is below, plus more on the story and some fabulous in-house feedback on the book is after that. Hopefully these convey *just how special* Starborn is and just how much you'll want to read it!
THE PRESS RELEASE
Pan Macmillan’s Tor imprint is thrilled to announce the acquisition of Starborn and sequel, by debut author Lucy Hounsom. Senior Commissioning Editor Bella Pagan bought World Rights, via Veronique Baxter of David Higham Associates. With George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones now a huge TV success, fantasy fiction has never been more popular. And these books are traditional fantasy at its very best.
Starborn features a vividly imagined world where a strong female protagonist stumbles upon hidden magic. As she fights to stay alive and find her path, she discovers that lost powers walk the earth and her own choices will shape the fate of thousands. Starborn, with its pace, adventurous themes and compelling characters will be perfect for fans of Trudi Canavan, David Eddings and Karen Miller.
Hounsom said: 'Joining Tor is a dream come true and I can't believe how lucky I am. It's a huge honour to share space with some of the greatest names in genre fiction. Starborn is the culmination of my abiding love for fantasy and it couldn't have found a more perfect home. I hope to take readers on one of those remarkable adventures made possible through storytelling, and I simply can't wait to begin.'
Lucy Hounsom works for Waterstones and has a BA in English & Creative Writing from Royal Holloway. She went on to complete an MA in Creative Writing under Andrew Motion in 2010.
Bella Pagan had this to say on the deal: ‘I couldn't be more delighted and Lucy is such an exciting new talent. Starborn is fantasy with a lot of heart and great pace. I couldn’t stop reading as revelation piled on revelation for Kyndra – as she found herself on the run, fighting for her life and surrounded by factions and secrets.’
Tor UK plans to release Starborn in hardback in Spring 2015.
Where lost powers will walk the earth
When Kyndra accidentally breaks a sacred artifact at her village's coming-of-age ceremony, she finds all hands turned against her. Then, following too swiftly for coincidence, a madness sweeps her home, along with unnatural storms. An angry mob blame her and she fears for her life -- until two strangers, wielding a power not seen for centuries, take her to safety. They flee to the sunken citadel of Naris, but worse dangers will lie ahead, amongst the underground city's politicians, fanatics and rebels. But in its subterranean chambers, she will find her true path - facing betrayal and madness to find it.
Kyndra, like every reluctant hero, has a choice: seize her destiny with both hands or walk away, perhaps dooming a whole world to fall. Starborn is about a girl coming of age, but it’s also about heroism. It's strengths, burdens, responsibilities and – not least – its consequences.
‘The fast pace works in its favour… it’s a really exciting, pacey, accessible fantasy, with a nice coming of age story and engaging characters’
‘I’ve been gripped right through to the very-nearly-end (I’m on the last ten pages now). The characters are wonderful … this is SUCH good fun and a captivating, magical world to immerse yourself in. It’s a strong yes from me! Thanks (again) for a great read’
‘I’m about halfway through and I am enjoying it. It’s very easy to read, in the classic vein of coming-of-age fantasy, and the characters are engaging … I do think there is an audience out there who would enjoy an alternative to the gritty realism of a lot of recent fantasy. It’s been a while since I read Trudi Canavan but she seems an apt comparison’
‘This is very enjoyable epic fantasy that has a light feel to it, very like Trudi Canavan and Robert Jordan. I think this is exactly the kind of thing we need'
‘I started this yesterday evening and am almost a quarter of the way through and I’m really enjoying myself. It’s good old-fashioned fantasy, which I love! I fully intend to read this all of the way through. In a way it kind of reminds me of the first Wheel of Time book, although not necessarily the series. A little of David Eddings’ books too’