Authors: Claire Legrand
“Food, yes,” she said, “and lots of it. But after that…bring the kings to me.” Then she rose to her feet and told the first lie of her new life: “I’m ready to begin.”
In Celdaria, Rielle’s kingdom, the Church is the official religious body. Citizens worship in seven elemental temples that stand in each Celdarian city. Temples range from simple altars in a single, small room to the elaborate, lavish temples of the capital city, Âme de la Terre. Similar religious institutions exist in nations around the world of Avitas.
In Eliana’s time, most elemental temples have been destroyed by the Undying Empire, and few people still believe in the Old World stories about magic, the saints, and the Gate.
Fourteen years ago, I had an idea for a book and decided I wanted to be a writer.
Fourteen years is a long time, and there are many people I need to thank for helping me realize my dream and helping
become the book it is today.
First, to Diana Fox, who pulled my original
query from the slush pile, generously (and gently) explained to me just how
much work I needed to do, and helped me get started in this industry. To you, Diana, I am forever grateful.
To my editor, Annie Berger, who is an absolute delight to work with—patient, insightful, fearless. Thank you for going on this journey with me.
To my agent, Victoria Marini: Your enthusiasm keeps me inspired; your sheer ferocity keeps me feeling safe and sane. I’m honored to call
you my agent—and my friend.
To the entire team at Sourcebooks Fire—including production editor Elizabeth Boyer, editorial manager Annette Pollert-Morgan, copy editor Diane Dannenfeldt, Alex Yeadon, Katy Lynch, Beth Oleniczak, Margaret Coffee, Sarah Kasman, Kate Prosswimmer, Heidi Weiland, Valerie Pierce, and Stephanie Graham—thank you all for embracing me and
with such passion and
To Michelle McAvoy, Nicole Hower, and David Curtis, who made
look so beautiful, inside and out. Thank you.
This book used to be about three times longer and took up two massive three-ring notebooks. There are actually people in my life who read that whole thing and still talk to me. Thank you to Erica Kaufman, Beth Keswani, Starr Hoffman, Ashley Cox, and Cheryl Cicero.
More thanks to others who read this book in crucial bits and pieces over the years: Kait Nolan, Susan Bischoff, Justin Parente, Kendra Highley, Gabi Estes, Britney Cossey, and Amy Gideon.
To Jonathan Thompson—the Lysol to my Monica, the Simon (Tam, not Randell) to my River, the Brit-Brit to my Cate: thank you for always believing in me.
To my sweet stepsister, Ashley Mitchell, who put
together the first official fantasy cast list for this book, years and years ago. I still have that Word document, and I will never stop loving it (or you!).
To Brittany Cicero: You read the first draft of the first version of
, week after week, chapter by chapter, as I hovered over your shoulder, watching your face for every miniscule reaction. I love you. This book would not exist
To Michelle Schusterman: You read the first draft of
as I wrote it, day after day, chapter by chapter. I could not have conquered this wild monster without you by my side. Thank you, forever.
To Diya Mishra: I’m not sure anyone else in this world gets this book as completely as you do. You are my brilliant Slytherin witch-queen, my fellow shipper-in-crime,
my soul-sister, and I’m so glad
brought us together.
To Alison Cherry, whose marvelous brain made this book so much better than it was, and who has talked me down from too many anxious, self-doubting cliffs to count—thank you, friend, for being mine.
To Lindsay Eagar (for constantly inspiring me, and for your wild, unstoppable heart), Heidi Schulz (for Marky Mark and for being
one of the best humans I know), Lindsay Ribar (for that walk in the woods), Sarah Maas (for ballet and
and your generous notes), Sara Raasch (for our wintry dual launch party and for
generous notes), Lauren Magaziner (for your love and support and writing dates), Isaiah Campbell (ditto!), Ally Watkins (for always checking in on me, and for your gentle heart), Katie Locke (for your
notes, insight, writing dates, and encouragement), Mackenzi Lee (for your fierce friendship), and Kayla Olson (for Cheez-Its, for our spots at that perfect table, for always cheering me on)—thank you.
More huge thanks and hugs from afar: Emma Trevayne, Kat Catmull, Stefan Bachmann, Megan McCafferty, Sammy Bina, Anna-Marie McLemore, Sarah Enni, Caitie Flum, Adam Silvera, Leigh Bardugo, Corey
Ann Haydu, Nova Ren Suma, Anne Ursu, Phoebe North, Serena Lawless, Shveta Thakrar, Laini Taylor, Sarah Fine, Amie Kaufman, Brooks Sherman, Anica Rissi, Navah Wolfe, Cat Scully, Shannon Messenger, Nikki Loftin, CJ Redwine, Eugene Meyers, Ellen Wright, Jay Kristoff, Zoraida Cordova—you have all supported and inspired me in countless ways over the years, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds
for each and every one of you.
To my family: Y’all have put up with a lot from me over the years. You read those giant three-ring binders. You listened to me fret about getting an agent. You never once stopped telling me I could achieve my dreams. Anna, Drew, Dad, Mom—I love all of you so, so much.
Lastly, I’ll thank you, intrepid readers, for welcoming this book—and these characters I
so love—into your hearts.
Thank you for reading
At Sourcebooks we are always working on something new and exciting, and we don’t want you to miss out.
So sign up now to receive exclusive offers, bonus content, and always be the first to get the scoop on what’s new!