I’m very excited to launch the cover reveal for this book. Steeplejack was one of my first acquisitions, and has been in the pipeline for several months. I can’t wait until this book is put out into the world.
I share further thoughts at the link above. Plus, the art is gorgeous.
Seventeen-year-old Anglet Sutonga, Ang for short, works repairing the chimneys, towers, and spires of Bar-Selehm, the ethnically-diverse industrial capital of a land resembling Victorian South Africa. The city was built on the trade of luxorite, a priceless glowing mineral. When the Beacon, a historical icon made of the largest piece of luxorite known to exist, is stolen, this news commands the headlines. Yet no one seems to care about the murder of Ang’s new apprentice Berrit. But when Josiah Willinghouse, an enigmatic young politician, offers her a job investigating his death, she plunges headlong into dangers she could not foresee. On top of this legwork, Ang struggles with the responsibility of caring for her sister’s newborn child.
As political secrets unfold and racial tensions surrounding the Beacon’s theft rise, Ang must navigate the constricting traditions of her people, the murderous intentions of her former boss, and the conflicting impulses of a fledgling romance. With no one to help her except a savvy newspaper girl and a kindhearted herder from the savannah, Ang must rely on her creative intellect and strength to resolve the mysterious link between Berrit and the missing Beacon before the city is plunged into riotous chaos.
Some Advanced Praise:
“A richly realized world, an intensely likable character, and a mystery to die for.“ — Cory Doctorow, New York Times-bestselling author of Little Brother
“With its unique South African-inspired setting, richly-drawn and diverse cast of characters, and unstoppable plot, readers of any age won’t be able to putSteeplejack down!” – Carrie Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of the Forest of Hands and Teeth series
“Smart and socially-aware, from its captivating opening line to an end promising adventures to come, this fabulous debut adds to the growing library of multicultural fantasy and is a loudly resounding success.” —Nisi Shawl, James Tiptree Jr. Award-winning author of Filter House and Everfair, and co-author of Writing the Other: A Practical Approach
“A captivating read! Main character Anglet is a compelling young woman who defies gravity and the constricting rules of her world. Readers will soar with her through murder mystery, romance, and political intrigue in a fresh landscape that riffs on South Africa’s multicultural history but touches our 21st century moment too. A.J. Hartley’s wonderfully plotted prose is full of surprise, insight, and hard-earned joy. I want the next book now!“ – Andrea Hairston, James Tiptree, Jr. and Carl Brandon Parallax Award-winning author
“Steeplejack combines a lively and intelligent plot with an intriguing and well-drawn world, and caps all this goodness with a determined and indefatigable heroine. I would read the further adventures of Ang in a heartbeat.” — Kate Elliott, author of Court of Fives
“In Steeplejack, Hartley has created a world so gritty and real I could taste the soot. Once you pick this book up, you won’t be putting it down until you’re done. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” — Maurice Broaddus, author of the Knights of Breton Court trilogy
“You can feel the grit and glory of Bar-Selehm, a many-spired city teetering on the edge of the savannah, and the verge of war. The perfect setting for a street-smart young woman who is caught between three cultures, yet refuses to be trapped by them.” – Sherri L. Smith, award-winning author of Flygirls and Orleans