So much love for this amazing fantasy that I put off reading for too long. Immediately after I finished The Brilliant Death, I turned back to the beginning and started it again (even though I pretty much never reread books). Yeah, it was that good.
See also: Italian Family dramurders, a brilliant magic system, and genderqueer romance. Please, for your own sake, read The Brilliant Death.
Teodora di Sangro is used to hiding her magical ability to transform enemies into music boxes and mirrors. Nobody knows she’s a strega—and she aims to keep it that way.
The she meets Cielo—and everything changes.
A strega who can switch outward form as effortlessly as turning a page in a book, Cielo shows Teodora what her life could be like if she masters the power she’s been keeping secret. And not a moment too soon: the ruler of Vinalia has poisoned the patriarchs of the country’s five controlling families, including Teodora’s father, and demands that each family send a son to the palace.
If she wants to save her family, Teodora must travel to the capital—not disguised as a boy, but transformed into one. But the road to the capital, and to bridling her powers, is full of enemies and complications, including the one she least expects: falling in love.
About the Author
Amy Rose Capetta has written several novels for young adults and holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from VCFA. She first dreamed of writing about Vinalia when she was younger than Teo. Once upon a time her father’s family lived in Italy, in a small town in the mountainside. Now Amy Rose lives in her very own mountains in Vermont, with her partner and their young son. To learn more, visit amyrosecapetta.com.
Raves for The Brilliant Death:
★ "A delicious and magical intrigue too tempting not to devour." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ "A highly original magic system and a protagonist who is as ruthless as she is fiery make for a fast-paced adventure." --School Library Journal, starred review
“Mario Puzo meets Ursula Le Guin in a gender and genre bending tale as lush as it is vivid, and as daring as it is dangerous. The hype is deserved and the magic is real."--Alex London, bestselling author of Proxy and Black Wings Beating "The Brilliant Death is a mesmerizingly written tale of identity, courage and family, wrapped up in magic that feels both folktale-familiar and enthrallingly innovative."--Alwyn Hamilton, New York Times bestselling author of Rebel of the Sands
"Writing so good it will give you goosebumps, and a story that will sweep you into a wild adventure full of old magic, new love, and dark delight."--Alison Goodman, New York Times bestselling author of Eon and Eona “This first in a duology is a luminously imagined, Italian-inspired fantasy that thoughtfully speaks to ideas of gender perception and identity. A rich world, with much left to be explored in the next volume.” – Booklist “One of the most artful, gorgeous, romantic books in the LGBTQIAP YA canon.” – B&N Teen Blog
“A unique mashup of fantasy, historical fiction, and queer romance… the kind of book you won't be able to stop talking about.” – Bustle