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The Lady of Rapture

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About The Book

Penny Dreadful meets The Gilded Wolves in this breathtaking finale to the young adult historical fantasy Bones of Ruin trilogy!

For years, the elite secret society called the Enlightenment Committee has waited for the apocalyptic force known as Hiva to destroy the world as it has so many times before. What the Committee didn’t know, however, was that Hiva wasn’t an event—it was a person.

Iris Marlow. An African tightrope dancer with no memories of her past. A girl who cannot die.

At least, she couldn’t die. Until her own friends discovered her one weakness and murdered her once and for all. The world-ending threat she posed should be gone too, but there’s one more Hiva out there, and unlike Iris, this one has no love for humanity. In her absence, this Hiva has taken it upon himself to judge if humanity deserves to live.

But when it comes to Hivas, the judgment is always the same. The ending is always total destruction. And while Iris is dead, she’s not gone—and after the betrayal that ended her life as Iris, she is now out for revenge.

The world’s days are numbered. The Cataclysm has begun.


Chapter 1 1
MAX’S HANDS SLIPPED OFF THE COOL, rough surface of Iris’s bone—remnants of her forearm sharpened into a deadly blade. He stumbled back, his mouth parted, his heart pounding in his ears, as two corpses collapsed to the ground at the same time.

Jinn and Iris.



Lovers. They were lovers, weren’t they? They’d been lovers long before Max had met either of them. None of the childish stunts he’d pulled had managed to change that. Not even this final one.

It took Max’s mind a moment to catch up to what he’d done. Hiva, the other god of death, had appeared with his friends in tow. He’d brought them a sword made of Iris’s bones and given them all a choice: kill Iris here and now, or risk her turning against humanity.

For Max, the choice had been clear.

He’d taken the bone sword and run Iris through. But not before Jinn had leapt in front of her.

To protect her.

Now blood seeped from their bodies and pooled against the marble floor of the Coral Temple.

This was Maximo’s crime.

“I had to do it,” Max whispered to their dead bodies, and then again to his own wide-eyed, unfocused reflection in the cracked glass of Hiva’s Tomb. Iris’s last breath remained on the chilled cylinder.

Hiva’s Tomb. The Naacal, an ancient civilization, had created this technological wonder. Whoever stepped inside the glass chamber would become “disassembled” down to their very atoms. Iris had refused to walk inside. She wouldn’t sacrifice herself, even if it meant she would one day fulfill her biological purpose and burn down the world.

That’s why Max had had to do it. In that one moment when he’d felt his hands grip the sword made from her bones, he’d made the decision to bear the responsibility of her death. It was his duty as her friend. It was what he’d had to do to save countless lives.

Max was too dazed to block Rin’s sword bearing down upon his head. He looked up and saw the glint of its sharp edge.


Max barely registered the frantic cry of his childhood friend Lawrence Hawkins as the young man tackled him to the ground. Rin’s sword crashed against the floor where he’d been standing.

Rin, the Dahomean warrior, who had followed Iris all the way here, to the ends of the earth.

Her attack thwarted, Rin’s resultant cry of fury shuddered through Max’s bones. As Hawkins held him in a vice grip on the floor, Max spied the tears streaming down Rin’s round cheeks.

Max’s body was numb. His fingers throbbed painfully. He was a hero. Why didn’t she understand that?

While his childhood friends Cherice and Jacob watched, frozen, it was his sister Berta who lunged forward and grabbed Rin’s sword-wielding arm.

“Stop!” Berta screamed, her dark curls spilling over her face. “Stop, damn it!”

Berta and Rin were both young, younger than he was, and yet both had been forced into a warrior’s life through no fault of their own. He couldn’t protect Berta when they’d been separated as children. He wanted to protect her now, but his mind was hollowed out, and once he stood, his legs couldn’t support his weight. Only Hawkins kept him upright, pulling him away from the battle toward Cherice and Jacob.

“Berta! Keep that crazy savage away from us!” shouted a boy Max didn’t know, a lanky bloke with tan skin and crooked teeth standing on the edge of the dais. Max hadn’t caught his name, but he could tell how cowardly he was by the way the boy’s knees knocked. The little girl next to him, Lulu, seemed far more composed. Though she gripped her dress tightly, she watched the scene carefully, silently, waiting to see who’d come out victorious.

Berta had to wrap her entire upper body around Rin’s arm to keep it still. “It’s done. She’s gone. What did you expect him to do now? Just let it go!”

Rin was shouting something back, but Max couldn’t understand her. He didn’t speak Fon. He didn’t need to. Her bloodlust and pain signaled her murderous desires. He could almost hear their echoes bouncing off the walls of the dark temple.

“It’s done,” Berta cried, shouting in pain when Rin pushed her down to the floor. “You’re pissed, I get it! But what’s the point of shedding any more blood now? Stop! I don’t want to hurt you, but I will!”

She wasn’t in any position to be making threats. Rin hissed something vicious and lifted her sword.

Time slowed.

It’d slowed for Max that day too: when he, as a child, had seen that carriage steal his little sister away. When he had been left stranded in London, alone and frightened.

Never again.

Max’s body moved on its own. He held his breath. His senses heightened. Rin’s sword whooshed through the air as her strike slowed to a crawl. Berta’s cry began to spring off her lips as she raised her arm to block the blow. Bodies in slow motion. All were affected except him. For that short moment, Max was time’s master.

And he would only need a moment.

He strode over to Rin and plucked her sword out of her hand.

No. She’ll just be able to summon it again, he thought to himself.

That was Rin’s power—summoning a sword from inside her chest. Iris was dead. Rin wouldn’t stop. Not until she had sated her need for revenge.

Max needed to kill her. Now.

And why not? He’d killed before. On that pirate ship, he’d murdered whomever he’d needed to if it meant he’d survive, if it meant he’d find his family again. Hadn’t he killed his way through those British soldiers too, to get to the mining site that had held everyone’s fates? Rin was loyal to Iris and Jinn. He’d already killed the latter two. Kill the third and he’d be in the clear.

Since the moment he’d been bamboozled into coming to England as a child, since the moment he’d been left on the streets of London as an orphan, since the moment he’d lost his sister, Max had only ever done what he’d had to in order to survive.

I really am such an asshole, Max thought to himself with a wry smile as he flipped Rin’s sword around and readied himself to stab the young girl.

But out of the corner of his eye, he saw him: a man whose existence shouldn’t have been possible. A statuesque body crafted from bronze. Curling brown hair stretching down to his waist. A chiseled face cut from glass. Pupilless golden eyes watching him with interest, unaffected by space or time.

The other Hiva. Max had almost forgotten he was there, but at the sight of the other god, in the sudden realization of his presence, Max jolted in fear. His breath hitched. And the moment he breathed again, time began to flow.

The spell was broken. It took Rin seconds to realize what Max had done. She squeezed her empty hands into fists, furious. Swearing, Max tried to run her through but missed, as Rin dodged his strike and kicked him in the stomach.

The sword flew from his hands and landed upon the dais’s marble floor, breaking into pieces, disappearing into dust. And just as Max had anticipated, Rin summoned it again, pulling it out from her chest.

Max didn’t have time to think. He instinctively lunged for Berta, hooking her around the waist with his arm and pulling her back, away from Rin to where Cherice, Jacob, and Hawkins stood. He’d wasted his chance. Slowing down time always sapped his energy from his body, leaving his bones worn. There wasn’t anything he could do now but distract her.

“Hiva!” Max grunted, pointing wildly behind Rin. “Hiva! Hiva!

It was like, in the aftermath of Iris’s death, they had all forgotten that there was another god of death who could burn them all to ashes. And this god had no reason not to.

That’s right, Max thought as he saw Rin suddenly realize it too, her gaze following his finger to the false god calmly watching them. Hiva is the real threat here.

Just like that, their battle felt like a petty squabble. Like Iris, Hiva could burn people from the inside out. But this wasn’t Iris. Max had no idea what to expect from this particular monster.

Rin lowered her arms. For a time nobody moved. Silence descended upon the group, because all had realized what Max had: that their lives were in another demon’s hands now.

Suddenly Rin lunged for the god, her sword raised, ready to land a blow. The American boy—the one Lulu had called “Fables”—screamed and shrank away, but he needn’t have worried. Hiva didn’t even look at her as he dodged her sword and backhanded her in the face so hard, it broke her nose and split her lips. Max watched, horrified, as the young woman hit the floor hard, her head bouncing awkwardly against the marble. She was knocked unconscious.

It was strange. Rin had been his enemy a minute ago, but his heart now dropped as he saw the young girl’s body twitching on the floor. She looked like a helpless child. She was a child. What had Hiva done to her? What had he done to her?

As he saw Rin bleeding, something in Max began to break, but he didn’t want to admit it. He didn’t want to notice the way Berta looked at the other girl—with anguish and pity. Instead he stood in front of Berta, lifting his chin in some desperate attempt to look in control.

“You’re Hiva too, aren’t you? Iris—” Her name caught in his throat almost as if it wanted to choke him. “Iris is dead. I… killed her.”

“You did.”

And then Hiva moved.

Hiva’s lumbering steps toward Iris’s corpse echoed across the walls. Rin backed away, her hands clenched as the monster pulled the bone sword out of Iris’s and Jinn’s bodies. Max flinched when Jinn’s right arm twitched.

Jinn. You were always one step ahead of me when it came to her. Max gritted his teeth as he remembered Iris’s circus partner throwing himself in front of Max’s attack in a hopeless attempt to save Iris. What Max had felt for Iris had been nothing more than attraction and fascination. It couldn’t compare to Jinn’s feelings for her. He knew that now. Max had betrayed Iris twice. Jinn had died for her.

“H-Hiva!” The strange American boy scrambled to Hiva’s side, throwing his arms around his chest and holding on to him for dear life. “Hiva, you did it! You killed that wretched witch!” He looked up at him with shimmering eyes of reverence. “It’s what you wanted, right?”

Technically, he was correct. Hiva had set up this entire encounter to get rid of Iris.

So why didn’t he look satisfied?

Why was his expression so confused, so hollow, as he stared down at Iris’s body?

“Sister…,” Hiva whispered, turning the bone sword again in her hand. “My revenge is complete. The Naacal’s revenge is complete.”

His limp fingers just barely held on to Iris’s bone.

“So… who’re you gonna kill next?”

It wasn’t Max or any of his friends who’d spoken. It was the child. It was Lulu.

The American girl trembled as she stared at Iris’s body. Her wide doe eyes seemed to look past Iris, past the bloodied temple floor, at something Max couldn’t see. She was a girl haunted by ghosts that never truly left her sight—because that’s what tragedy was, and this girl had experienced it. She knew it when she saw it. But she’d also learned how to deal with it in her own unique way. Squeezing her eyes shut, she rubbed her little brown hands down her dress. Then, when she was ready, she tilted her head and addressed the god again.

“You’ve come to kill the wicked, haven’t you?” she reminded him. “Then Miss Iris was…” She looked back at Berta as if waiting for some kind of validation for her wordless indictment.

Wicked. Then Iris was wicked too. Wasn’t she?

While spending time with Lulu in the port city of Ajashe, Max had wondered so many things about her, and she’d straightforwardly answered every one of his questions.

Who are you? Lulu.

Where are you from? Oklahoma.

Where’s your family? Dead. They hung ’em in a tree.

How did you meet Berta? She saved me from being lynched by those white people.

All with the innocence and clarity of one who had already made up her mind about what this world was like. That was why her cherubic brown face looked suddenly hopeful now. She waited for Hiva’s answer as one did the judgment of a righteous angel.

But Hiva didn’t seem to know himself. “Next…” It was the one word he seemed to have heard Lulu say. “Who do I kill next…? What comes next…?”

Who was he asking? Iris?

Hiva’s eyes were fixed on the dead. Max followed the god’s gaze. That was when he finally noticed.

Iris was decomposing.

With the weapon made from her own body finally extracted from her flesh, that flesh began to deteriorate, skin charring, organs smoking as if her body had been placed into a furnace. And as the smoke curled up into the air, Hiva began to twitch—slowly first, then more violently.

“The people’s revenge.” He sucked in a deep breath through his nose and exhaled years of pain, eons of the history between them. “The children’s revenge. The children you killed, sister… I’ve given them your death as penance.”

Lifting his head as if in pain or ecstasy, with his eyes round and bulging, Hiva began wheezing as if he’d run around the whole world, as if he were on the verge of laughter. Unhinged. The sight was shocking enough to freeze everyone in place.

“Praise me, my old friends,” Hiva begged, to someone Max couldn’t see. “Tell me that I did well, Nyeth. Tell me I avenged the children.”

No one answered.

Hiva inhaled and exhaled in a frenzy, until there was nothing left of Iris’s body but ash.

No. Not just ash.

Iris’s crystal heart remained. The size of a real, beating human heart but round like an orb. By no means was it smooth. There were creases and crevices carved into the crystal, bloodless veins etched into the white surface.

Hiva went very still. “Sister. Why didn’t you listen to me? You should have listened to me before you killed them all.”

Hiva bent down, picked up Iris’s crystal heart, and stared at it for some time.

And then he crushed it in his hand. White dust slipped through his fingers and collected in a pile on the floor.

“Maxey! Get a hold of yourself!”

As Max’s knees buckled, someone caught him around the waist. Cherice. It was her voice that had called him, probably, but nobody could stop his stomach from heaving. Heat flushed from the skin of his cheeks up to his eyes, drawing tears as bile burned his throat. The contents of his stomach, pouring over his hands onto the floor, reminded him of Iris’s blood, now mixed in her ashes.

Iris. He thought of her shy smile whenever he’d tease her in Club Uriel. Her delight in Whittle’s toy shop. Making her laugh back then had felt like a triumph. A badge of boyish honor.

Hiva rolled Jinn’s body away and dipped his fingers into Iris’s remains. “You brought this on yourself, sister. The children needed revenge. Now they have it.”

“I—I did that.” Max was mumbling now, swaying on his feet, remembering with a tactile kind of disgust just what it had felt like to pulverize her heart. What have I done? “I killed her. I killed them both.” Iris, what have I done?

“You had to.” Berta moved quickly, curling her fingers around his shirt and pushing against his chest. “You didn’t have a choice. She was going to kill us all.”

She said it, but Max saw the way she turned and took in the sight of Rin, still unconscious on the floor. Max could hear his sister’s voice wavering as she told him he didn’t have a choice.

“She was going to kill us all,” Max repeated to himself, a salve to his ever-crumbling resolve, though he no longer quite believed the words.

“And he still might. Hiva.” Jacob stood in front of the group, lifting his arms, but the protective gesture was just that—a gesture. What could any of them do against Hiva?

Damn it. Clenching his teeth, Max gripped Berta’s wrists and drew her in as he and his thieving childhood friends closed ranks. He’d been so fixated on what Iris might do, he hadn’t even thought of dealing with the aftermath. As the adrenaline began to wear off, questions he should have considered the moment he arrived inside the Coral Temple began popping up one by one. “Why the hell are you working with Frankenstein in the first place? What happened?”

“We didn’t exactly have a choice,” Hawkins hissed. They were all so close, Max could feel Hawkins’s arm stiffen against his side.

“You still don’t.”

Hiva had said this so simply, he almost sounded human. He stared at the bone sword in his hand, far more fascinated with it than he was with them.

And yet.

“I… need you,” Hiva said, throwing the sword aside.

Max heard Cherice’s sharp gasp behind him. She pressed her head against his back as she wrapped her arms around his stomach. He could feel her every tremble.

“What are you on about?” Jacob replied. His voice always deepened to a low rumble when he was frightened. “What could you possibly need us for?”

Hiva didn’t answer immediately. He stared at Iris’s ashes. Then he turned toward Lulu. The little girl gave a start, but Hiva didn’t look particularly murderous.

He smiled at her.

“What comes next?” he said, repeating her question. “I am Hiva. I was created for a purpose. To judge the world and allow it to be born anew—even if that means destroying humanity in the process. That is what Hivas must do.”

But Max had killed Iris for that very reason, hadn’t he? Did Hiva not realize that? Max shook his head, his heart beating harder against his chest as the god began to repeat to himself: “It is what we Hivas do. We live in solitude in the space between life and death. And when we are finished, we return, alone, to silence. There is no other way. There is no other way…. Is there, sister?”

Iris, of course, did not answer. She had already gone ahead into that silence.

“So you’ll kill me?” Lulu asked bravely, though she clenched her hands together.

Her innocent question seemed to give Hiva a start. “No.” He shook his head quickly. “I wouldn’t kill you. Never you. Not the innocent children…”

He held out his hand for Lulu to take. She didn’t.

“I need you all for my journey.” Hiva turned and placed his golden hand upon the glass of Hiva’s Tomb. “I’m curious about the world my sister had been so desperate to live in. The world that was built after she destroyed the Naacal.”

Sister, sister. Hiva kept calling her that. But Max wasn’t sure what exactly that meant—were they related by blood? What exactly were these death gods? Where had they come from? What history had led them down this bloody path?

He could have just asked Iris if he hadn’t killed her.

“The life cycle of Hiva always begins and ends the same way. Should humanity truly die? Upon being brought back to life by the One who created us, we would travel the world to answer this question. Only after observing humankind would we start the calamity. There is no other way.” He paused, staring at Iris’s ashes. “There is… no other way…”

Hiva’s golden fingers were sturdy and long as he curled them. “My sister used to observe humans without feeling and kill them without remorse. She killed them all. She hunted them all down and burned them to ash. Even the children.”

His voice trailed off, as if he’d suddenly lost himself in his own memories. He looked toward Lulu, his lips curling as she scuttled away from him.

“But somehow, sister changed. She became… ‘Iris.’ A new being entirely. What is this world, then—this civilization that transformed my sister in such a drastic way? Should that same civilization be destroyed? I’ll find out after I’ve completed my journey.”

He faced them. “One year.” Without a change in his expression, he held up a finger. “You will journey with me as my guides. It’s as I’ve done in the past for eons.” He lowered his hand and touched his chin thoughtfully. “Within one year, I will almost certainly destroy humanity.”

Max’s stomach dropped. He couldn’t feel his hands.

“What the hell is that?” Berta pulled away from the group. “What’s this ‘one year’ bullshit? Within one year, you’ll kill us?” Max could hear her quick, haggard breaths as her chest rose and fell. “Sounds like you’ve already made up your damn mind, don’t you think?”

“So you will kill me,” Lulu said.

“I would never kill children,” Hiva answered. “Never the children.”

“But you’ll destroy humanity,” Jacob pressed.


“It’s the same damn thing!” Berta screamed. “Do you even hear yourself?”

Hiva was unperturbed. “It’s as I’ve always done. There is no other way.”

It was as if he didn’t register the contradiction. Whatever had happened between Hiva and Iris in the past had left him a confused god with the power of life and death in his hands.

“You’re certifiably mad, is what you are,” Hawkins scoffed, his voice high-pitched enough to betray his fear. “Judge us? Some judge. What’s the point of observing humanity if you’re just going to kill us anyway?”

“The One who created me calls me forth to complete one task. First I observe. Then I judge.” Hiva’s eyes flashed. “That the judgment is always the same is the fault of humans.”

It was then that Max realized, as his mouth dried and his teeth chattered, that he had murdered the wrong Hiva.

He’d killed his friend.

A grievous crime committed for nothing.

“That sounds great,” said the lanky American, who rubbed his hands together with a lovestruck grin. “What’s another year?”

“Fables, you ragged dumbass, you shut your mouth!” Berta snapped. Breaking away from Max, she ran to Lulu, who’d been standing alone, and grabbed her hand. “No. No, I ain’t gonna let you do it.”

That git, Fables, scoffed. “Since when did you become a hero? I thought you didn’t give a damn about anything or anyone.” He shrugged. “Don’t matter anyway. When Hiva says jump, you jump. Unless you want to end up as another pile of ashes.”

“You damn suck-up!” Berta yelled, and dropping Lulu’s hand, she launched herself at Fables. The boy shrieked as the weight of Max’s sister fell on top of him. Like a clockwork automaton whose wheels needed greasing, Hiva shifted his head to stare at the ruckus.

That’s when Rin struck. Max hadn’t seen her wake up. He didn’t know how long she’d been playing dead, waiting for her chance. It was while Berta and Fables squabbled that she launched up like a rocket.

“Cut off his head!” Max yelled. He needn’t have. Rin was already going for a clean sweep across his neck.

Until Hiva’s hand found hers.

What happened next, Max couldn’t quite understand. Hiva lifted Rin off her feet. As her sword clattered to the ground, a bone-shuddering crack curdled Max’s blood.

Rin’s arm. Hiva had snapped it. But that was the least of it. Rin was a warrior. She could handle a broken arm. But this

Hiva placed his finger upon Rin’s right eyeball. Steam began to rise from her face.

Rin screamed as her eye sizzled and melted. Her limbs, head, torso—everything was twitching.

Hiva was burning her from the inside out.

As she burned away, so too did the last bit of resolve he clung to—the resolve that he’d somehow made the right decision in killing Iris. His resistance to the truth. His denial. All of it burned away until only self-loathing remained. Before he knew it, helpless, desperate words were spilling from Max’s lips.

“We’ll do it! We’ll go with you! Please don’t kill her! Don’t kill her, God!”

Rin’s body fell to the floor with a thump. The slight spasm of her lips told Max she was still alive but just barely.

The smell of burning flesh. Like rotten eggs. The inhumanity. Max unraveled.

Jacob ran to Rin, cradling her in his arms. The kind boy choked back his tears, stroking her face, chin, and neck and then whispering to her as she wheezed and coughed in pain.

“We’ll do it,” Max whispered again. “We’ll do it. Right?” Max looked from Hawkins to Jacob. Then he pried Cherice’s fingers off his stomach and turned around, bending until he was at her eye level. “Right?”

Cherice, usually all sass, looked drained of life. She could barely manage a squeak.

Hiva had already been traveling with his sister and the Americans. Why go so far as to collect more of them? Why did he need more humans by his side?

Max stared into Hiva’s empty eyes, and something curious glimmered there. Nameless. There was a whole lot he didn’t understand about this volatile creature, but as Hiva stretched out his hand to them almost hopefully, he wondered just how much Hiva understood about himself.

“Come, then,” the death god said. “Come with me.”

It wasn’t quite a command. To Max’s ears, it sounded almost like a request.

Prying herself off Fables, Berta ran to Lulu and gripped her tightly. Fables spat on the ground and dusted himself off.

“We will use the same power that brought us here,” said Hiva.

Hawkins was up to bat.

“We will teleport to the destinations of my choosing,” Hiva said, and then paused. “After I rid this world of humanity, I will then go to the next world and destroy it. It is as it should be.”

Jacob began to lift Rin, his features twisted in hopeless terror, when Max, thinking quickly, put out a hand to stop him.

“Leave her; she’s useless now,” Max said, shooting a quick glance to Hiva, who didn’t seem to object. “Unless…” And he looked deep into Jacob’s dark eyes. “Unless you have something special you’d like to give her.”

At first Jacob just stared at him, confused. But then it was as if the hint in Max’s intense glare had finally struck him.

“As always, friend, I’m way ahead of you,” Jacob responded very seriously.

So it was already done. Perhaps when he’d first held Rin. Good. Max knew he could count on Jacob out of everyone. After stroking Rin’s face and neck one last time, Jacob stood and followed Hawkins and Cherice.

Max dragged himself forward. He slowed down to let Hawkins, Cherice, and Jacob go to Hiva first. And when he passed by Rin, he bent down to caress her head. Her braids shifted a little across her shoulder as she struggled to breathe.

Max knew Hiva was watching these curious displays of affection. But as far as he knew, Hiva didn’t have enhanced hearing and knew nothing of Jacob’s power. That was why Max kept his voice in a whisper when he lowered his lips to Rin’s ears.

“Go to Uma and tell her everything. Warn everyone. We all have one year to live.”

Max didn’t know if Rin’s flinch was confirmation that she understood his words or another attempt to kill him. He wouldn’t have minded either. She had every right to hate him. She was a better person than he could ever be. That was why he trusted her with this mission.

Trusted her with his sister.

As Max and his childhood friends gathered around Hiva and Fables, as Hawkins used his power to open up his blue portal, Max pushed Berta, who was still holding Lulu tightly, out of the void. The two girls cried out and tripped, hitting the ground next to Jinn’s dead body and Iris’s pile of ashes.

And it was as Max stared at Iris’s pile of ashes that Rin opened her mouth and whispered just his name again and again.


Just his name, as if to ask him why he’d left her behind.

Tears streamed down Max’s cheeks. “I’m so sorry, Rin,” he mouthed as he disappeared with Hiva.

About The Author

Photograph by Melanie Gillis

Sarah Raughley grew up in Southern Ontario writing stories about freakish little girls with powers because she secretly wanted to be one. She is a huge fangirl of anything from manga to sci-fi fantasy TV to Japanese role-playing games and other geeky things, all of which have largely inspired her writing. Sarah has been nominated for the Aurora Award for Best YA Novel and works in the community doing writing workshops for youths and adults. On top of being a YA writer, Sarah has a PhD in English, which makes her a doctor, so it turns out she didn’t have to go to medical school after all. As an academic, Sarah has taught undergraduate courses and acted as a postdoctoral fellow. Her research concerns representations of race and gender in popular media culture, youth culture, and postcolonialism. She has written and edited articles in political, cultural, and academic publications. She continues to use her voice for good. You can find her online at

Product Details

  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (April 16, 2024)
  • Length: 496 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781534453623
  • Ages: 14 - 99

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Raves and Reviews

"Bloodily spectacular. The Bones of Ruin builds page after page of visceral intrigue, steamrolling toward the end of the world in Victorian London. These characters could tear you apart, but you will love them all the same. Sarah Raughley’s world breathes true to the past and yet gleams brilliantly new."

– Chloe Gong, #1 New York Times bestselling author of THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS and OUR VIOLENT ENDS

"Sarah Raughley proves once again that, like her intricate worlds and wonderful characters, she is a master of decolonization and a force to be reckoned with."

– E.K. Johnston, New York Times bestselling author on THE BONES OF RUIN

"This cryptic, enticing journey is told in alternating, third-person perspectives: Adam’s cold and calculating, Iris’ searching and daring. The author builds a delicious tension that will have readers putting the pieces together as the end of the world nears and wanting more after they reach the climactic cliffhanger ending. A rousing series opener."

– Kirkus Reviews on THE BONES OF RUIN, July 15, 2021

"The fantastical premise supports a multilayered plot and vibrant characters. Meanwhile, themes of racial abuse, violence, and rebirth, paired with a wealth of romantic options, add further complexity to this series starter."

– Publishers Weekly on THE BONES OF RUIN, September 27, 2021

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