YES. That, folks, is the Magonia cover. She’s not out til April 28th, so for the the next few months you can look at this, and mutter about how it’s not available yet. At least it’s mouthwatering! Here’s the Magonia page at HarperCollins with links to various pre-order places.
Art is by Craig Shields and cover by the spectacular HarperTeen design team. I’m very lucky to have this particular publisher sharing my imaginary kingdom with me – they totally get it! I love this cover so, SO much.
MAGONIA is my young adult debut, a novel about a badass, broken, deathly ill teenage girl from earth who finds herself in a sky kingdom. Here’s the description:
Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live.
So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn’t think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.
Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia. Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was.
In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?
The genesis of this book? Peter Pan. Which has always pissed me off. Wendy’s role in that book, the way she gets converted into a mother for Lost Boys while everyone else has legit adventures? No, thank you. And then there’s Tinker Belle, and Tiger Lily, and Mrs. Darling, and all told, COME ON. A bunch of bummer for all the female characters. I spent my childhood wanting to be Peter Pan, but wanting Peter Pan to be a girl, thank you very much. I was an adventurer. I didn’t see why Wendy couldn’t be too. Instead, she’s stuck wearing her nightgown, sewing on buttons, and cleaning up after Lost Boys! Ack! GRRR. ARRRRGH.
Yeah, I kinda became a writer just so I could furiously revise some of the stories that were already in the world.
So, all that said, a J.M. Barrie riff is not actually what MAGONIA is – it’s not a Neverland situation at all – but it came from my early aggravation, and became something else entirely.
This book is for readers 13 and up, and Aza Ray Boyle, the protagonist, is 16 – but the guts of the story come from me imagining what would happen if a ferocious, firebrand, real person of a teenage girl ended up in a kingdom in the sky, full of ships, pirates, stormsharks, and tiny birds that nest in your lungs and sing with you. And what if that girl actually had power?
So this visual depicts both the earth Aza Ray has been on for 15 years, and the sky she’s heading into, Magonia. The feather is transformation, and depicts the feather of a canwr, one of the lung-singers in the book. There are birds and bats and squallwhales in Magonia, and environmental warfare. There are a whole lot of female ship captains. There’s magic, and there’s weird science.
There’s also sorrow, loss, love, death, and pain. Even though this is an imaginary world, it’s got a lot of real stuff in it, and I think it’ll probably make you cry. This book means a lot to me. I can’t wait for you to read it.