Guardian

A. J. Hartley

The city of Bar-Selehm is tossed into a whirlwind of scandal when the Prime Minister is found dead on the floors of Parliament: and Anglet Sutonga's friend and employer, Josiah Willinghouse, is the one holding the knife.


Determined to prove his innocence, Ang investigates leads throughout the city, only to discover even more chaos wherever she goes. A mysterious but fatal illness is infecting the poor. A fanatical politician seizes power, and rolls out his plans to make Bar-Selehm great again.

Amidst these surrounding dangers, Anglet Sutonga must gather her friends from places high and low to form a resistance... and hopefully, protect everything she knows and loves.

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A.J. Hartley

A. J. Hartley

British-born writer A. J. Hartley is the bestselling author of a dozen novels including Sekret Machines: Chasing Shadows (co-authored with Tom DeLonge) and the YA fantasy adventure Steeplejack from Tor Teen. As Andrew James Hartley he is also UNC Charlotte’s Robinson Distinguished Professor of Shakespeare, specializing in performance theory and practice, and is the author of various scholarly books and articles from the world’s best academic publishers including Palgrave and Cambridge University Press. He is an honorary fellow of the University of Central Lancashire, UK. As well as being a novelist and academic, he is a screenwriter, theatre director, and dramaturge. He is married, with a son, and lives in Charlotte.

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    Seventeen-year-old Anglet Sutonga lives repairing the chimneys, towers, and spires of the city of Bar-Selehm. Dramatically different communities live and work alongside each other. The white Feldish command the nation’s higher echelons of society. The native Mahweni are divided between city life and the savannah. And then there’s Ang, part of the Lani community who immigrated over generations ago as servants and now mostly live in poverty on Bar-Selehm’s edges.