This is a virtual event taking place via Zoom Webinar.
Third Place Books welcomes Ayana Gray for the release of her highly-anticipated debut YA novel, Beasts of Prey. She will be joined in conversation by Renée Ahdieh, author of The Beautiful, The Damned, and the the #1 New York Times bestselling The Wrath and the Dawn.
About Beasts of Prey. . .
In this much-anticipated series opener, fate binds two Black teenagers together as they strike a dangerous alliance to hunt down the creature menacing their home—and uncover ancient deadly secrets.
There’s no such thing as magic in the broken city of Lkossa, especially for sixteen-year-old Koffi, who holds a power within her that could only be described as magic—a power that if discovered could cost her life. Indentured to the notorious Night Zoo, Koffi knows the fearsome creatures in her care and paying off her family’s debts to secure their eventual freedom can be her only focus. But the night those she loves are gravely threatened by the Zoo’s cruel master, Koffi finally unleashes the power she doesn’t fully understand, upending her life completely.
As the second son of a decorated hero, Ekon is all but destined to become a Son of the Six—an elite warrior—and uphold a family legacy. But on the night of his final rite of passage, Ekon encounters not only the Shetani—a vicious monster that has plagued the city for nearly a century and stalks his nightmares, but Koffi who seems to have the power to ward off the beast. Koffi’s power ultimately saves Ekon’s life, but his choice to let her flee dooms his hopes of becoming a warrior.
Desperate to redeem himself, Ekon vows to hunt the Shetani and end its reign of terror, but he can’t do it alone. Meanwhile, Koffi believes finding the Shetani could also be the key to solving her own problems. Koffi and Ekon form a tentative alliance and together enter the Greater Jungle, a world steeped in wild, frightening magic and untold dangers. The hunt begins. But it quickly becomes unclear whether they are the hunters or the hunted.
Praise for Beasts of Prey. . .
“This pan-African story, rife with betrayal and narrated through poetic language that evokes vivid imagery, will ensnare readers, keeping them engaged with its energetic pace. The beautiful blend of mythology, romance, and action ends with a hint at more to come… A dazzling debut.”
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A delight. I rarely fall in love with characters as quickly as I did with Koffi and Ekon. Gray masterfully balances the wonder and uncertainty of youth with a deftly, fully imagined world that I was dying to learn more about.”
—S. A. Chakraborty, author of The Daevabad Trilogy
“A magical, bingeable debut by a phenomenal new voice in YA. Beasts of Prey is an immersive and heartfelt book with characters whose personalities seep from the pages. From its beautiful prose to its rich and vibrant world, this book is your next favorite read.”
—Adalyn Grace, author of All the Stars and Teeth
Ayana Gray is an author of speculative works and lover of all things monsters, mythos, and #MelaninMagic. Originally from Atlanta, she now lives in sunny Florida, where she reads avidly, follows Formula One racing, and worries over her adopted baby black rhino, Apollo. Beasts of Prey is her debut novel.
Renée Ahdieh is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her spare time, she likes to dance salsa and collect shoes. She is passionate about all kinds of curry, rescue dogs, and college basketball. The first few years of her life were spent in a high-rise in South Korea; consequently, Renée enjoys having her head in the clouds. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and their tiny overlord of a dog. She is the author of The Beautiful, The Damned, Flame in the Mist, and Smoke in the Sun as well as the #1 New York Times bestselling The Wrath and the Dawn and its sequel, The Rose and the Dagger. Renée's next novel, The Righteous, will be published in December 2021.
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