The Phoenix Keeper

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781399616584

Price: £20

ON SALE: 13th August 2024

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As head phoenix keeper at a world-renowned zoo for magical creatures, Aila’s childhood dream of conserving critically endangered firebirds seems closer than ever. There’s just one glaring caveat: her zoo’s breeding program hasn’t functioned for a decade. When a tragic phoenix heist sabotages the flagship initiative at a neighbouring zoo, Aila must prove her derelict facilities are fit to take the reins.

But saving an entire species from extinction requires more than stellar animal handling skills. Carnivorous water horses, tempestuous thunderhawks, mischievous dragons… Aila has no problem wrangling beasts. Inspiring zoo patrons? That’s another story. Mustering the courage to ask for help from the hotshot griffin keeper at the zoo’s most popular exhibit? Virtually impossible.

Especially when that hotshot griffin keeper happens to be her arch-rival from college: Luciana, an annoyingly brooding and insufferable know-it-all with the grace of a basilisk and the face of a goddess who’s convinced that Aila’s beloved phoenix would serve their cause better as an active performer rather than as a passive conservation exhibit.

With the world watching and the threat of poachers looming, Aila’s success is no longer merely a matter of keeping her job… She is the keeper of the phoenix, and the future of a species now rests on her shoulders. There’s just one thing she has to remember: she is also not alone.

Against an epic fantasy backdrop teeming with all your favourite mythical beasts from dragons and unicorns to kelpies and krakens, The Phoenix Keeper combines the cozy fantasy stakes of TJ Klune and Travis Baldree with the heartwarming contemporary romance of Alice Oseman and Casey McQuiston.


Delightfully inventive and charming, The Phoenix Keeper is a sweet sapphic romance set in the most magical zoo you can imagine. MacLean's empathy for all living things - from vanishing ducks and endangered phoenixes, to endearingly awkward zookeepers and their crushes - shines through in every word. I couldn't stop smiling the whole way through. Sign me up for a lifetime membership to the San Tamculo Zoo, please!
Filled with mystical creatures so vivid I could swear they're real, two endearingly relatable zookeepers, and the coziest possible combination of intrigue and romance, The Phoenix Keeper is a sparkling debut. I'd give anything for a ticket to the San Tamculo Zoo, and MacLean's transporting book made me feel like I'd truly gone for a visit. I look forward to whatever's next from this magically creative new voice in fantasy
Laura R. Samotin, author of THE SINS ON THEIR BONES
This book has it all: some good old pining, a healthy amount of nerdiness, a cast of characters you'll consider friends, one amazing griffin keeper - and at its heart, a warming story about passion, preservation, and childhood dreams... Spiritually, I'm still at San Tamculo Zoo. Don't miss out!
Vanessa Le, author of THE LAST BLOODCARVER