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.
Why We Love It
“Despite all the number of things I had to do the weekend I first started reading King of Dead Things, I could not put it down. Told with beautiful prose reminiscent of Neil Gaiman, the opening lines hook you into a world that is immersive and cinematic, a London that is both familiar and magical, with unforgettable characters who feel real and will tug at your heartstrings. Nevin has created a smartly written fantasy-adventure about found family, steeped in Afro-Caribbean culture and mythology, that is unlike anything I’ve ever read.”
—Kristie C., Assistant Editor, on King of Dead Things
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (April 16, 2024)