King of Dead Things

King of Dead Things


Two lives are about to collide. A journey of self-discovery.

For fans of dark fantasy like Cemetery Boys, Noughts and Crosses and Threads that Bind from major new YA talent Jamaican British author Nevin Holness

The first time Eli had tried taking magic that wasn’t his, it had wrapped around his palms like razor wire, tight enough that he’d needed stitches. Since then, Eli had bled magic from a soul enough times that he knew the rhythm of it. He knew what kinds of magic to stay away from and which he could upsell, which would get stuck beneath his fingernails and which would crumble and turn to ash if he held on too tightly.

Eli doesn't know who he is or where he came from. What he does know is that he can pluck the magic from a soul like a petal from a flower. And he knows there is nothing he wouldn't borrow, steal or destroy in order to discover his past.

Malcolm knows he can raise the dead with a wave of his hand but all he really wants is to be able to save his mother.

When Eli is sent to track down the legendary fang of the leopard god Osebo, he finds himself entangled with an old and ancient power. Forced to team up, Malcolm and Eli must weave through the cracks of London, unearthing magic that should have stayed buried.

Until finally, they face a power greater than either of them could have imagined: the daughter of Death herself . . .

Raising the dead is easy, living is harder.


  • An immersive, adventurous debut.

    Holness has created a fantasy London that feels incredibly real. Richly peppered with Caribbean folklore, creatures from African diasporic mythology, death and life magic, wrapped up in a high stakes plot that impacts friendships, found family, and preservation of culture.
    Author of the Walter Award Honoree Root Magic, Eden Royce

About the author

Nevin Holness

Nevin Holness writes stories that explore magic within the Jamaican diaspora and she is passionate about creating complex and fantastical narratives that young Black readers can see themselves reflected in. She is a graduate of the Penguin Random House WriteNow Programme that has produced acclaimed writers such as Manjeet Mann, winner of the Costa Children’s Book award and Emma Smith Barton, shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.

When she's not writing, Nevin spends most of her time listening to Beyoncé.
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