A Dark and Hollow Star (Hollow Star Saga #1) (Hardcover)
Here's the book for those of us who grew up in the world of the Mortal Instruments and are now searching for something darker, grittier, but with that same comforting feel--the blurry lines between the mortal and faerie realms. The scope of worldbuilding is unparalleled, and it's only just beginning to flesh out, because not only do we meet the fae, but also ancient gods and other creatures of lore across time. But the heart of this book is in the characters. The casually all-queer cast solidifies that everyone deserves to be represented in magical stories and have adventures, and who are not defined by their sexuality or gender. Each of them contributes a different magical background from all corners of the Courts. The fallen deities, ironborn, the troublemakers, the snarky nerds. The world is not prepared for them but like it or not, they're here to shake things up. Holly Black may be the Queen of Faerie but Ashley Shuttleworth has secured their place in the Seelie Court.
The Cruel Prince meets City of Bones in this thrilling urban fantasy set in the magical underworld of Toronto that follows a queer cast of characters racing to stop a serial killer whose crimes could expose the hidden world of faeries to humans.
Choose your player.
The “ironborn” half-fae outcast of her royal fae family.
A tempestuous Fury, exiled to earth from the Immortal Realm and hellbent on revenge.
A dutiful fae prince, determined to earn his place on the throne.
The prince’s brooding guardian, burdened with a terrible secret.
For centuries, the Eight Courts of Folk have lived among us, concealed by magic and bound by law to do no harm to humans. This arrangement has long kept peace in the Courts—until a series of gruesome and ritualistic murders rocks the city of Toronto and threatens to expose faeries to the human world.
Four queer teens, each who hold a key piece of the truth behind these murders, must form a tenuous alliance in their effort to track down the mysterious killer behind these crimes. If they fail, they risk the destruction of the faerie and human worlds alike. If that’s not bad enough, there’s a war brewing between the Mortal and Immortal Realms, and one of these teens is destined to tip the scales. The only question is: which way?
Wish them luck. They’re going to need it.
— Nicki Pau Preto, author of the Crown of Feathers series
“The plot offers high stakes, simmering romantic tension, political drama, refreshingly casual representation of queer and transgender characters, and an intriguing magic system that draws inspiration from Dungeons & Dragons... A gripping flight into fantasy.”
“First in a planned duology, Shuttleworth’s queer urban fantasy debut combines figures from Greek myth and European folklore with elements of tabletop RPGs.... Shuttleworth sensitively tackles the plot’s darker elements, including trauma and suicidal ideation, tempering them with tenderness and wry wit. A kaleidoscopic narrative adds depth and drive.”
— Publishers Weekly
"Characters are vivid, with motivating, sometimes mysterious, backstories. The high stakes of the plot are balanced with humor, particularly from the irreverent and snarky Nausicaä.... Many young adults will love this novel’s stellar queer representation, as well as the oft-repeated refrain that the adults should be the ones handling this mess. VERDICT: A promising opener to an urban faerie fantasy series featuring multiple queer identities."
— School Library Journal
"Tongue-in-cheek pop-culture references and snarky humor balance well with dark but sensitive portrayals of emotional trauma caused by abusive or negligent adults.... This first in a planned duology should be a hit."
— Booklist Online Exclusive