Goddess Crown (Hardcover)
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In this thrilling Afro-fantasy, the first set in the lush, opulent kingdom of Galla, a girl raised in secret must leave her sheltered rural home for the subtle dangers of the royal court, where she becomes caught up in deadly power struggles and romantic intrigue.
Kalothia has grown up in the shadows of her kingdom, hidden away in the forested East after her parents were outed as enemies of the king. Raised in a woodland idyll by a few kindly adult caretakers, Kalothia can hunt and fish and fend for herself but knows little of the outside world. When assassins attack her home on her sixteenth birthday, she must flee to the king’s court in the West—a beautiful but lethal nest of poison, plots, and danger, overseen by an entrenched patriarchy. Guided by the Goddess herself, can Kalothia navigate this most worldly of places to find her own role? What if she must choose between her country and her heart? Excitement, romance, and a charismatic heroine shine in this first book set in the unforgettable kingdom of Galla.
About the Author
Shade Lapite is British-Nigerian and has drawn on her heritage to create the world of her debut novel. She spent a significant slice of her childhood nestled in the library, inhaling books by Diana Wynne Jones, Tamora Pierce, Lois Duncan, and Mildred D. Taylor. Her love for the arts led her to a degree in media arts at Royal Holloway, University of London. She now lives in Toronto and juggles writing with her career in digital marketing. Her blog, Coffee Bookshelves, celebrates writing and promotes titles by authors of color. You can find her fangirling over Korean dramas on Twitter @TheShadyFiles or sharing her favorite books on Instagram @shadelapite.
The story’s well-timed action and tenacious protagonist make for page-turning thrills, and a lovely romance tucked away within its pages will make readers’ hearts flutter. However, the underlying theme of young women building reliable, strategic alliances in addition to friendships while living in patriarchal kingdoms is equally important. . . Lapite’s debut is a strong addition to the genre and a fine introduction to an enchanting world that is worth exploring. A punchy story radiating zeal and filled with suspense.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
A sheltered teen who longs to find her missing parents must contend with a patriarchal society and dangerous political machinations in Lapite’s thrilling debut. . . . British Nigerian author Lapite delivers an engaging African-inspired fantasy replete with pulse-pounding action sequences, dramatic revelations, and an affecting developing romance spearheaded by a clever, headstrong heroine that readers can’t help but cheer for.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
An exhilarating, plot-driven romantic Afro-fantasy. . . Lapite brings this Afro-fantasy to life through descriptive, lyrical text. . . . Goddess Crown is a majestic, enlivening adventure that should appeal to fans of Tamora Pierce, Lloyd Alexander, and, yes, even Shakespeare.
—Shelf Awareness (starred review)
Teeming with betrayal, secrets, and power struggles, Lapite’s debut will have readers on the edge of their seats. . . . Kalothia’s determined spirit rings true, and her uphill battle will endear her to readers. . . . Readers looking for an inviting fantasy or who want a grounded experience will love Kalothia and root for her through her plight.
Opulence, beauty, and danger—Goddess Crown sweeps readers into a sumptuous new world that they won’t soon forget and introduces an unstoppable heroine in Kalothia. A magnificent and triumphant debut.
—Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times best-selling author and chief operating officer of We Need Diverse Books