EXCLUSIVE: Bloomsbury Children’s Books has acquired Havenfall, a highly anticipated new project from Sara Holland, the author whose first two novels, Everless and Evermore, skyrocketed up the New York Times bestsellers list and established her as a major new star of the YA fantasy scene.
Described as a lush, gothic fantasy, Havenfall chronicles the story of Maddie, who spends summers at the novel’s namesake setting, a once-resplendent inn located deep in the Rocky Mountains and owned by Maddie’s uncle. Havenfall has also long-served as a neutral territory that links magical realms but that peaceful status is disrupted by a shocking murder that will force Maddie to confront dark truths about her family.
“Havenfall is a genius mash-up of the real world and fantasy,” says Cindy Loh, VP and publisher of Bloomsbury Children’s Books U.S. “Maddie is a grounded, ‘every-girl’ teenager trying to deal with her non-traditional family and not fall for the one person she shouldn’t be with, and Sara takes this very relatable, issue-based narrative and spins it with fantastical elements, other-world secrets, and scary, please-turn-on-the-lights creatures — all right in the middle of Colorado. Sara’s storytelling pulls you right in, no matter what kind of book-lover you are, and I’m thrilled to be welcoming Sara to our YA list and publishing such an inventive, exciting new series.”
The two-book deal for World English rights was brokered to Cindy Loh, in a preempt, by Stephen Barbara at InkWell Management on behalf of Holland & Glasstown Entertainment. The first book is scheduled for winter 2020 publication in both the U.S. and the UK.
“My whole life, I’ve obsessed over contemporary fantasy books that made me believe magic could be just around the next corner,” said Holland, who grew up in Minnesota and graduated from Wesleyan University. “So it’s a dream come true to find a publishing home for my first novel set in this world. I couldn’t be more thrilled that Cindy and the Bloomsbury team fell in love with the setting of Havenfall and with Maddie — a tough, resilient girl who fights to preserve the magic around her even as she starts to understand its dark side. This story means a lot to me, and I can’t wait to share it with readers everywhere next year!”
Holland’s first novel, Everless, published in early 2018 by Harper Teen, is in development for television by Glasstown Entertainment. Everless and its sequel, Evermore, presented a world where the rich may live for centuries while the poor die young due to “taxed” lifespans.