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Deal Announcement: “Krista Marino at Delacorte Press took North American rights for high six figures to debut author Amélie Wen Zhao’s trilogy Blood Heir. The fantasy series was bought after a five-house auction; Delacorte said the series is about “a fugitive princess with a dark secret and a charismatic con man who forge an unlikely alliance in order to save themselves, each other, and their kingdom.” Peter Knapp at Park Literary and Media sold the series, which will launch with book one (also called Blood Heir) in summer 2019.” — Publishers Weekly.

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Your power does not define you. What defines you is how you choose to wield it.

A fugitive princess with the horrifying power to control blood. A blackhearted conman with no past and no future. An Empire spiraling into darkness. A world worth saving.

The Cyrilian Empire: a glittering white sprawl of frozen tundras and ancient, snow-capped forests, where ice spirits roam beneath the flickering northern lights, and where slavers hunt Affinites — those born with powers to manipulate elements.

Born with an unusual Affinity to blood, Anastacya Mikhailov has never believed herself to be anything more than a monster. Her curse rings true when an accident in the dead of the night results in the death of her father, the Emperor of Cyrilia — and she is sentenced for his murder.

But Ana knows what she saw that night: the scent of poison in Papa’s blood, and the face of a murderer vanishing into the dark.

Alone, hunted, and on the run, Ana makes a bargain with Ramson Quicktongue, a handsome yet dangerous underground crime lord: help her find the true murderer and clear her name in exchange for her alliance.

When Ana’s search lands her in the lair of the most powerful slave trader in the Empire, she uncovers a horrifying truth. A new monarch stands poised to lead the empire to a path of hatred and divisiveness, and Ana must stop her before Cyrilia falls to darkness. But first, she must come to terms with the monster she thinks she is and the heir she was destined to be.

In a world where the princess is the monster, oppression is blind to skin color, and good and evil exist in shades of gray… comes a dark Anastasia retelling that explores love, loss, fear, and divisiveness, and how ultimately it is our choices that define who we are.

For a sneak peek, click here.

The Inspiration Behind BLOOD HEIR

BLOOD HEIR is written with a diverse cast, many of which are beloved and dear to a third-culture kid like myself (please note all cultures are pseudo; the world is fictional, but inspired by certain cultures/countries): a tawny-skinned minority of a Russian-esque princess; a disowned and dishonored Asian-esque assassin; an islander/Caribbean-esque child warrior; a Middle-Eastern-esque soldier). As a foreigner in Trump’s America, I’ve been called names and faced unpleasant remarks — and as a non-citizen, I’ve felt like I have no voice — which is why I’ve channeled my anger, my frustration, and my need for action into the most powerful weapon I have: my words.

This book is about the outcasts, the downtrodden, and the ones who are feared or reviled by the sole virtue of being born different. There are so many scenes in this book that are precious to me, but one of the greatest inspirations I had was the song “God Help the Outcasts” from my favorite Disney movie, THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME.

The world I write, in which the minorities, the helpless, and the weak are preyed upon and oppressed by a corrupt government, draws inspiration from real life. This past year, I’ve teared up countless times seeing innocents deported, seeing children dying, seeing people of other skin colors called out as monsters.

This book is for them.