Gollancz pre-empts debut YA fantasy THE GIRL KING

Rachel Winterbottom, Senior Editor at Gollancz, has bought UK and Commonwealth (ex. Canada) rights in a two-book pre-empt for THE GIRL KING by Mimi Yu from Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency, to be published in Spring 2019 in trade paperback. This YA debut was inspired by East and North Asian histories and follows an exiled princess fighting to reclaim the throne from her cruel cousin, with the reluctant help of a shapeshifting boy whose family was killed by the empire.

Rachel Winterbottom said: ‘When I read the first page of THE GIRL KING, I knew this book was something special. The world-building is incredible and the writing is just divine. I absolutely adored this powerful book from start to heart-wrenching finish. I am so delighted that Mimi Yu has joined the Gollancz family.’

Mimi Yu said: ‘I couldn’t be more thrilled that THE GIRL KING found a home across the pond with Rachel Winterbottom and Gollancz. I’m truly honoured by their enthusiasm for the project, and I can’t wait to share it with a UK audience.’

Molly Ker Hawn said: ‘Gollancz’s passion for THE GIRL KING was clear from the start. I’m delighted that Rachel and the team will be launching Mimi’s riveting book in the UK.’

A girl-king without a crown; a boy-wolf without a pack; a lost sister without a family: their paths will clash in this sweeping YA fantasy of privilege, power, and the weight of history.

 Princess Lu has long expected to become the dynasty’s first ‘Girl King’ — so she is dismayed when her father announces her betrothal to her cousin Set and names him the next emperor. Lu needs an ally — and an army — if she is to have any hope of reclaiming her birthright.

Nokhai was the lone survivor when his family of wolf shapeshifters was slaughtered by the empire. Nok never learned to shapeshift, until the same night he encounters the fleeing Princess Lu and their fates become ensnared.

Lu’s younger sister Min finds herself Empress to the new Emperor Set. But Min harbours a sinister power, one that could be the key to securing Set’s reign and merging the old magics with the empire’s modern military might. . .

Mimi Yu is an alumna of the Popular Fiction workshop with Marjorie Liu at Voices of Our Nation’s Arts (VONA)/University of California at Berkeley 2014, and VONA/University of Miami 2015. She also has a BA in liberal arts from Sarah Lawrence College, New York, and an MFA in fine art from Parsons School of Design. This is her first novel.

THE GIRL KING will be published by Gollancz in trade paperback, audio and ebook in Spring 2019