Young adult, Scholastic, September 3rd, 2019
If the magic doesn’t kill her, the truth just might.
Aza Wu knows that real magic is dangerous and illegal. After all, casting killed her sister, Shire. As with all magic, everything comes at a price. For Aza, it feels like everything in her life has some kind of cost attached to it. Her sister had been casting for money to pay off Saint Willow, the gang leader that oversees her sector of Lotusland. If you want to operate a business there, you have to pay your tribute. And now with Shire dead, Aza must step in to save the legacy of Wu Teas, the teahouse that has been in her family for centuries.
When Aza comes across a secret invitation, she decides she doesn’t have much else to lose. She quickly realizes that she’s entered herself into an underground casting tournament, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Real magic, real consequences. As she competes, Aza fights for her life against some very strong and devious competitors.
When the facts about Shire’s death don’t add up, the police start to investigate. When the tributes to Saint Willow aren’t paid, the gang comes to collect. When Aza is caught sneaking around with fresh casting wounds, her parents are alarmed. As Aza’s dangerous web of lies continues to grow, she is caught between trying to find a way out and trapping herself permanently.
“Chapman has created compelling young adult novels before, but this is a cut above; the fully realized and atmospheric dystopia is crafted at a level not seen often. This stunning fantasy will fly off the shelves.” —Booklist (starred review)
“Creative and fast paced…readers will have a hard time putting this one down.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
“Readers are in for a spellbinding adventure with themes of duty, justice, revenge, and sacrifice. A magic-filled page-turner.” —School Library Journal
“A dark and, at times, vicious and violent story of will and questionable honor.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Intrigue, betrayals, and plot twists abound in this fast-paced thrill ride of a novel, distinguished by fascinating world building and imaginative set pieces sure to exhilarate readers.” —Claire Legrand, NYT bestselling author of Furyborn.
“With an incredibly rich, incredibly unique world and a heroine you can’t help but root for, Elsie Chapman’s Caster kept me late turning the pages.” —Susan Dennard, NYT bestselling author of The Witchland books.
“A spellbinding, pulse-pounding blend of high stakes magic, epic battles and an engaging, fierce heroine. I was riveted from beginning to end!”—Ellen Oh, author of the Prophecy series and co-founder of We Need Diverse Books.
“In Lotusland, magic comes with a deadly price, but gutsy heroine Aza Wu will use it if she can avenge her sister. I was under Caster‘s spell.”—Stacey Lee, award winning author of Outrun the Moon.
Book deal announcement on PW