For A Muse Of Fire is available for pre-order now!
A young woman with a dangerous power she barely understands. A smuggler with secrets of his own. A country torn between a merciless colonial army, a terrifying tyrant, and a feared rebel leader.
The first book in a new trilogy from the acclaimed Heidi Heilig blends traditional storytelling with ephemera for a lush, page-turning tale of escape and rebellion. For a Muse of Fire will captivate fans of Sabaa Tahir, Leigh Bardugo, and Renée Ahdieh.
Jetta’s family is famed as the most talented troupe of shadow players in the land. With Jetta behind the scrim, their puppets seem to move without string or stick—a trade secret, they say. In truth, Jetta can see the souls of the recently departed and bind them to the puppets with her blood.
But ever since the colonizing army conquered their country, the old ways are forbidden, so Jetta must never show, never tell. Her skill and fame are her family’s way to earn a spot aboard the royal ship to Aquitan, where shadow plays are the latest rage, and where rumor has it the Mad Emperor has a spring that cures his ills—and could cure Jetta’s, too. Because seeing spirits is not the only thing that plagues her.
But as rebellion seethes and as Jetta meets a young smuggler, she will face truths and decisions that she never imagined—and safety will never seem so far away.
Heidi Heilig creates a vivid, rich world inspired by Asian cultures and French colonialism. Her characters are equally complex and nuanced, including the bipolar heroine. Told from Jetta’s first-person point-of-view, as well as with chapters written as play scripts and ephemera such as telegrams and letters, For a Muse of Fire is an engrossing journey that weaves magic, simmering romance, and the deep bonds of family with the high stakes of epic adventure.
Content warnings: Mental illness (bipolar), blood use in magic, gun violence, war, colonialism, racism, descriptions of dead bodies, mention of reproductive coercion, mentions of torture, mention of suicide
Praise for For A Muse Of Fire:
For a Muse of Fire is a Fall 2018 Junior Library Guild Selection
“This start to a new trilogy is fast-paced and gripping while also offering readers a thoughtful commentary on the long-lasting ramifications of war and colonization. …This must-have story with an inclusive cast, high stakes, and an intense cliff-hanger will leave readers clamoring for the next installment.” – School Library Journal Starred Review
“A treacherous, darkly fantastical world…This series starter is action-packed…theatrical elements, rich world building, and loose ties to the French colonization of Southeast Asia add fascinating depth.” – ALA Booklist
“A lush land reminiscent of South Asia is the setting for a thrilling trilogy opener by Heilig. …Telegrams, letters, and play scenes sprinkled throughout create a strong sense of place, and Jetta’s struggle to accept herself is relatable. Heilig uses intricate prose to animate nuanced characters and action-packed scenes in this immersive, epic fantasy.” – Publishers Weekly
The Girl From Everywhere Duology
The Girl From Everywhere (Book 1)
Nix’s life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix’s mother died in childbirth. Nix’s life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who’s been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.
In The Girl from Everywhere, Heidi Heilig blends fantasy, history, and a modern sensibility with witty, fast-paced dialogue, breathless adventure, and enchanting romance.
Content warnings: emotional abuse, substance abuse, racial slur, theft of indigenous resources, a Persian character teases a hapa character by saying “We don’t negotiate with terrorists.”
The Ship Beyond Time (Book 2)
The breathtaking sequel to the acclaimed The Girl from Everywhere. Watch the trailer here.
Nix has spent her whole life journeying to places both real and imagined aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. And now it’s finally time for her to take the helm. Her future lies bright before her—until she learns that she is destined to lose the one she loves.
Desperate to change her fate, Nix sails her crew to a mythical utopia to meet another Navigator who promises to teach her how to manipulate time. But everything in this utopia is constantly changing, and nothing is what it seems. Not even her relationship with Kash: best friend, thief, charmer extraordinaire.
Heidi Heilig weaves fantasy, history, and romance together to tackle questions of free will, fate, and what it means to love another person. At the center of this adventure are extraordinary, complicated, and multicultural characters who leap off the page, and an intricate, recognizable world that has no bounds. This sequel—and conclusion—to The Girl from Everywhere includes five black-and-white maps of historical and mythical locations.
Content warnings: emotional abuse, substance abuse, suicidal ideation (secondary character), racism, references to theft of Indigenous land
Praise for The Girl From Everywhere duology:
“The Girl from Everywhere has everything—mystery and adventure, complicated people and relationships, romance and intrigue, and that extra something special necessary for a really good read.”
– Danielle Borsch, Vroman’s Bookstore, (Pasadena, CA)
“History and mythology fans will love this fast-moving ride through time, where mythological maps take Nix and the crew to real places with items and creatures true to the map’s design…This must-have fantasy adventure will appeal to fans of Rick Riordan’s ‘Kane Chronicles.’”– School Library Journal Starred Review
“[A] skillful mashup of science fiction and eclectic mythology, enlivened by vivid sensory detail and moments of emotional and philosophical depth that briefly resonate before dissolving into the next swashbuckling adventure. A nonstop time-travel romp.” – Kirkus
“Heilig’s writing is richly immersive, and a mature exploration of complicated love, both familial and romantic, underlies the story. A riveting and far-reaching fantasy that crosses seamlessly across the centuries, posing questions about fate, loyalty, and belonging.”– Publisher’s Weekly
“A truly exciting book, brimming with adventure, history, and sinuous potential. … “The Girl from Everywhere” is a bewilderingly good book. …Heidi Heilig is one to watch.”– Christian Science Monitor
“This artfully constructed sequel to The Girl from Everywhere does not disappoint, with even more romance and adventure than in the first installment. …This thrilling, layered maritime fantasy will be best enjoyed by those who have read the first volume.”– School Library Journal Starred Review
“[A] genre-busting series…Nix’s narrative voice reveals a complicated protagonist who moves between trenchant pragmatism and poetic flights with fluidity. …this ingeniously plotted time twister deepens the narrative, sharpens characterization, and raises the stakes, leaving readers…wanting more.” – Kirkus Reviews
Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens, edited by Marieke Nijkamp
This anthology explores disability in fictional tales told from the viewpoint of disabled characters, written by disabled creators. With stories in various genres about first loves, friendship, war, travel, and more, Unbroken will offer today’s teen readers a glimpse into the lives of disabled people in the past, present, and future.
The contributing authors are awardwinners, bestsellers, and newcomers including Kody Keplinger, Kristine Wyllys, Francisco X. Stork, William Alexander, Corinne Duyvis, Marieke Nijkamp, Dhonielle Clayton, Heidi Heilig, Katherine Locke, Karuna Riazi, Kayla Whaley, Keah Brown, and Fox Benwell. Each author identifies as disabled along a physical, mental, or neurodiverse axis―and their characters reflect this diversity.
Unbroken is a Junior Library Guild Selection
Don’t Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation About Mental Health, edited by Kelly Jensen
What does it mean to be crazy? Is using the word crazy offensive? What happens when such a label gets attached to your everyday experiences?
In order to understand mental health, we need to talk openly about it. Because there’s no single definition of crazy, there’s no single experience that embodies it, and the word itself means different things—wild? extreme? disturbed? passionate?—to different people.
(Don’t) Call Me Crazy is a conversation starter and guide to better understanding how our mental health affects us every day. Thirty-three writers, athletes, and artists offer essays, lists, comics, and illustrations that explore their personal experiences with mental illness, how we do and do not talk about mental health, help for better understanding how every person’s brain is wired differently, and what, exactly, might make someone crazy.
If you’ve ever struggled with your mental health, or know someone who has, come on in, turn the pages, and let’s get talking.