⭐⭐⭐⭐ FOUR STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐
It's real! KINDLING has received a fourth starred review! School Library Journal calls it, "A heartrending, must-read fantasy about youth searching for home and learning to survive a world not designed for them." This review highlights so many of the ways I hoped this book would reach readers, from the power dynamics between young people and the previous generations' most entrenched institutions to the way that reflects on the uncertainty of our current world and the fights we are fighting now for a future we may never see. Thank you so much to School Library Journal for seeing and recognizing KINDLING. Full review to come.
Three stars for KINDLING! ⭐⭐⭐ I could hardly believe it when I saw this yesterday, I refreshed the page about five times to make sure that shiny red star was real! Thanks so much to Publishers Weekly for this lovely review: "Employing simple yet brutal worldbuilding rendered in raw prose, Chee offers an unflinching look into the horrors of war in this Seven Samurai–inspired tale." Read the full review here!
Happy paperback day to A THOUSAND STEPS INTO NIGHT! I am so proud of this spooky/goofy/beautiful little folktale; this road trip through a magical Ghibli-esque world; this critique of American patriarchy in the guise of a rollicking adventure involving spirits, demons, and gods; this zero-romance fantasy about friendship and allies and embracing the parts of yourself that everyone told you were unworthy of love. 👹🌙 To celebrate, I'm finally releasing the playlist I used while writing the book! It's got a wide variety of eerie/lovely/fantastical soundscapes, and most often I'd just hit shuffle and let the music take me away to the world of 1000 Steps! Listen now on Spotify.
Here's the official book description:
A Bank Street Children’s Best Books of the Year
Longlisted for the National Book Award
From bestselling and award-winning author Traci Chee comes a fantasy perfect for fans of Studio Ghibli. When a girl who’s never longed for adventure is hit with a curse that begins to transform her into a demon, she embarks on a quest to reverse the curse and return to her normal life, but along the way is forced to confront her true power within.
In the realm of Awara, where gods, monsters, and humans exist side by side, Miuko is an ordinary girl resigned to a safe, if uneventful, existence as an innkeeper’s daughter.
But when Miuko is cursed and begins to transform into a demon with a deadly touch, she embarks on a quest to reverse the curse and return to her normal life. Aided by a thieving magpie spirit and continuously thwarted by a demon prince, Miuko must outfox tricksters, escape demon hunters, and negotiate with feral gods if she wants to make it home again.
With her transformation comes power and freedom she never even dreamed of, and she’ll have to decide if saving her soul is worth trying to cram herself back into an ordinary life that no longer fits her… and perhaps never did.
Find it on Bookshop.org, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Indigo, or at your favorite local retailer!
Please join me for a KINDLING launch party at Linden Tree Books in Los Altos, CA on Friday 3/1 at 6pm! 🔥 I’ll be hosting a trivia game show night with special guests/contestants Parker Peevyhouse (THE ECHO ROOM), Randy Ribay (PATRON SAINTS OF NOTHING) & Emily Skrutskie (THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US), and it’s going to be so much fun. 🔥 I haven’t had a true launch party since 2018, so I’d love it if you could be there to celebrate KINDLING with me! RSVP here!
PLUS, you can pre-order your copy of KINDLING from Linden Tree to receive your faux kindling “Polaroids,” and you can pick it all up the day of the event! 🎁 Go here for details!
⭐ Another star for KINDLING! ⭐
Thanks so much to Booklist, which calls KINDLING "a thorough and gut-wrenching exploration of finding reasons to move forward after devastating loss and darkness and how community and connection can breed hope that will linger with readers long after the last page." That's two stars! And I am incredibly grateful. Read the full review here.
🎁 With a month left until launch, there's still time to get your pre-order gifts: three "Polaroids" of the kindlings, featuring art by Naomi Giddings! Details can be found here.
Linden Tree Books | Bookshop.org | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Indigo
We’re six weeks out from the publication of Kindling, and I’m thrilled to reveal the pre-order gifts I’ve been cooking up for you!
With your purchase (or library request) of Kindling made before February 27, 2024 at 11:59pm PT, you can receive three beautiful “Polaroids” of the seven kindlings, featuring art by Naomi Giddings! Orders made through Linden Tree Books in Los Altos, CA will also arrive with a signed Kindling bookmark. Submit your receipts + your name and mailing address exactly as you’d like them to appear on the envelope to: email@example.com. Offer open internationally until 02/27/24 at 11:59pm PT or while supplies last.
I love the “found object” feel of these prints, and I’m so tickled by the idea that they all happened in this little sequence of events, as the kindlings notice they’re being photographed and seize the camera for a selfie. Naomi’s renditions of these characters make me smile every time, and I’m so excited for you to hold them in your hands!
Linden Tree Books | Bookshop.org | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Indigo
It’s a STAR for KINDLING! ⭐️ “Both a mesmerizing fantasy adventure and a haunting meditation on shared trauma.“ Thanks so much to Kirkus Reviews for seeing this book so clearly—I’m absolutely thrilled! Find the full review online tomorrow or in print in January. ⭐️
🔥 NEW RELEASE DATE! 🔥
Exciting news: KINDLING is now launching a week early, on February 27, 2024. That means I get to share this story with you one week sooner! 🎉
Come victory or come death
Once, the war was fought with kindlings—elite, magic-wielding warriors whose devastating power comes at the cost of their own young lives.
Now, the war is over, and kindlings have been cast adrift—their magic outlawed, their skills outdated, their formidable balar weapons prized only as relics and souvenirs.
Violence still plagues the countryside, and memories haunt those who remain. When a village comes under threat of siege, it offers an opportunity for seven kindlings to fight one last time. But war changed these warriors. And to reclaim who they once were, they will have to battle their pasts, their trauma, and their grim fates to come together again—or none of them will make it out alive.
From bestselling and award-winning author Traci Chee comes a gut-wrenching, introspective fantasy about seven lost soldiers searching for the peace they once fought for and the future in which they’re finally daring to believe.
Pre-orders available now. (And as always, save your receipts. 🎁)
ICYMI: I'm part of another anthology! 🏠 A few weeks ago, Page Street YA revealed the cover of THE HOUSE WHERE DEATH LIVES, edited by Alex Brown, and look how gorgeous it is! I love writing short stories, and I think this is one of the best (and most tragic 💔) I've ever written, so I can't wait for you to read it!
Here's the official description:
🏠THE HOUSE WHERE DEATH LIVES ANTHOLOGY (originally titled: This House is Haunted) edited by Alex Brown:
✨New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors weave interconnected haunted house stories to build a unique collection of chilling tales, with stories from Alex Brown, Nova Ren Suma, Gina Chen, Traci Chee, Linsey Miller, Rosiee Thor, Courtney Gould, Kay Costales, Liz Hull, Shelly Page, Justine Pucella Winans, Sandra Proudman, C.L. McCollum, Nora Elghazzawi, Tori Bovalino, G. Haron Davis✨
🏠A dance to the death. A girl who’s just as monstrous as H.H. Holmes. A hallway that’s constantly changing—and hungry. All of these stories exist in the same place—within the frame of a particular house that isn’t bound by the laws of time and space.
🏠Following in the footsteps of dark/horror-filled YA anthologies like His Hideous Heart and Slasher Girls and Monster Boys, and Netflix’s ground-breaking adaptation of The Haunting of Hill House, this YA speculative fiction anthology explores how the permanence of a home can become a space of transition and change for both the inhabitants and the creatures who haunt them.
🏠Each story in the anthology will focus on a different room in the house and feature unique takes on monsters from a wide array of cultural traditions. Whether it’s a demonic Trickster, a water-loving Rusalka, or a horrifying, baby-imitating Tiyanak, there’s bound to be something sinister lurking in the shadows.
THE HOUSE WHERE DEATH LIVES releases August 6, 2024, but pre-orders are available now via Bookshop, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon, or check with your favorite local retailer to see about pre-ordering!
Cover credits: Laura Benton & Rachel Jablonski
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