King of Dead Things (Hardcover)

King of Dead Things By Nevin Holness Cover Image

King of Dead Things (Hardcover)


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For fans of Legendborn, Neil Gaiman, and Leigh Bardugo, this urban young adult fantasy steeped in Afro-Carribbean folklore follows two Black teens searching for a powerful artifact in the hidden magical side of London.

Raising the dead is easy. Living is harder.

Eli doesn’t know who he is or who he came from. Three years ago, he was found by his now-best friends, Sunny and Max, who gave him a home in a magical sanctuary doubling as a Caribbean restaurant. What Eli does know is that he can heal a wound with just a touch and pluck magic from a soul like a petal from a flower—and there is nothing he wouldn’t do to survive and keep his new family together.

Malcolm would do anything to forget where he comes from. Desperate to escape his estranged father’s shadow and plagued with an inherited death magic he doesn’t fully understand, Malcolm has just one priority: save his mother, no matter the cost.

Malcolm and Eli’s paths collide when Eli and his friends are sent to track down the fang of the leopard god Osebo, a deadly weapon that can eat magic. In a job filled with enigmatic nine nights and Caribbean legends, the teens must face their own demons as they race through the magical underbelly of London to retrieve the fang…before an ancient and malevolent power comes back to life.
Nevin Holness is from North London. She has a degree in fashion journalism from London College of Fashion and currently works in womenswear. In 2018, she was selected as a finalist in Penguin’s WriteNow mentorship program. King of Dead Things is her first novel.

Product Details ISBN: 9781665946919
ISBN-10: 1665946911
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 16th, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English
JLG Gold Standard Selection

★ "Holness’ debut novel overflows with drama, culture, and fantastical realism. Anyone with roots in the Caribbean will chuckle at the familiar array of characters that populate this world. Readers will feel transported as the vivid scenes play out on each page, drawing them in with universal elements such as struggles with identity, family, and an uncertain future. Hopefully this will not be the last we see of Eli and Malcolm. An electrifying debut." 
Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

"Through Eli and Malcolm’s third-person perspectives, magics rooted in the Afro-Caribbean diaspora leap off the pages in a tangle of sensory and emotional touchstones: community, food, family, the way a neighborhood feels—all speak of a tangible power tied to cultural tradition and folklore. Eli, Sunny, Max, and Malcolm are each sympathetic and engaging. . . one crisis dealt with still leaves a multitude of lingering mysteries for (hopefully) future novels." 
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Infused with Caribbean folklore, this fast-paced urban fantasy careerns from one idea to the next but manages to tie it all together in a surprise twist ending."