Action! Humor! Fantasy! "Kicking off a new series with a bang (several bangs, in fact), Stroud sends two young fugitives with murky pasts fleeing murderous pursuers across a fractured future Britain." —Kirkus Reviews, starred
**Soon to be a motion picture starring Phoebe Dynevor of Bridgerton!**
Scarlett McCain is a shoot-first ask-questions-later kind of outlaw. She scrapes by on bank heists, her wits—and never looking back.
She’s on the run from her latest crime when she comes across Albert Browne. He is the sole survivor of a horrific accident, and against her better judgement, Scarlett agrees to guide him to safety.
This is a mistake. Soon there are men with dogs and guns and explosives hot on their heels. Scarlett’s used to being chased by the law, but this is extreme. It was only a little
bank she’d robbed . . .
As they flee together across the wilds, fighting off monstrous beasts, and dodging their pursuers, Scarlett comes to realize that Albert Browne is hiding a terrible secret. And that he
may be the most dangerous threat of all.
In this fast-paced, quick-witted whirlwind of a story, Jonathan Stroud introduces two unlikely allies—the outlaws Scarlett and Browne—who are about to become the most notorious renegades in all that’s left of Britain.
March 7, 2023
10 and up
Lexile: 700L | Fountas/Pinnell: Z
Jonathan Stroud is the author of two internationally bestselling series: the award-winning Bartimaeus sequence, which has been published in thirty-six languages worldwide, and the critically acclaimed Lockwood & Co, which is currently being adapted by Netflix. His stand-alone titles include Heroes of the Valley, The Last Siege, The Leap,
and Buried Fire.
Jonathan lives near London with his wife and three children.
"The vivid setting, rapid-fire dialogue, and nonstop action
will propel readers through this raucous, rousing rumble. A blast
for action fans, with potential for a long run." —Kirkus Reviews,
"Just the kind of setting where adventure fantasy thrives. Add razor-sharp banter
and you can lay the smart money on another Stroud winner
"Stroud expertly builds flawed characters, cahoots close and tender, and a fully realized setting in this rollicking series opener
, employing arch phrasing, witty rapport, and quick pacing
alongside the brutally rendered truths of a world intent on controlling outlaws of every type." —Publishers Weekly
, starred review
"Stroud’s world building is exceptional
, his compelling characters easy to root for. There’s real suspense and surprise
, along with some truly terrifying moments
, though plenty of banter
and scheming keeps things fun." — Booklist
worldbuilding and a compelling
heroine will appeal to readers who like “Rick Riordan Presents,” as well as the works of Philip Pullman and Garth Nix." —School Library Journal
"Incisive, elegant action scenes, stuffed with daredevil escapes
and shoot-’em-up confrontations, keep the story racing along in a turbulent stream of suspense and relief. Stroud’s characteristic humor—irony, sarcasm, a witty quickness—lightens the tale
’s more dire themes." —The Horn Book