Choice, Powerful Women, and the Epic Weird: Announcing Kerstin Hall’s Debut Novel, Star Eater

Tor.com Publishing is thrilled to announce that Ruoxi Chen has acquired World English rights to Star Eater and a second untitled novel from Kerstin Hall. Pitched as Robin McKinley meets The Handmaid’s Tale, Star Eater will be Hall’s novel-length debut. Jennifer Jackson at the Donald Maass Literary Agency brokered the deal.

In this stunning debut fantasy reminiscent of Robin McKinley, Elfreda Raughn—bureaucrat, priestess, and practitioner of cannibalistic magic—must betray the Order in which she was raised so she can choose her own future…

She swallowed a star, and the Sisterhood called her the Eater. 

Elfreda Raughn will avoid pregnancy if it kills her, and one way or another, it will kill her. Though she’s able to stomach the gruesome day-to-day duties, the reality of preserving the Order’s magical bloodline horrifies her, but the Sisters of Aytrium have sworn to pay a price for the safety of their nation.

Elfreda wants out, whatever the cost.

So when a shadowy cabal approaches her with an offer of escape, she leaps at the opportunity. As their spy, she gains access to the highest reaches of the Order, and enters a glittering world of opulent parties, subtle deceptions, and unexpected bloodshed.

A phantasmagorical indictment of hereditary power, Star Eater takes readers deep into a perilous and uncanny world where even the most powerful women are forced to choose what sacrifices they will make, so that they might have any choice at all.

Said Kerstin Hall:

I am delighted that Tor.com Publishing has decided to take a chance on my scheming matriarchal cannibals. I look forward to working on this novel with Ruoxi Chen and the rest of the team, and hope that readers will enjoy the book.

Said editor Ruoxi Chen:

Kerstin Hall is a myth maker. With Star Eater, she’s brought her strikingly gorgeous and unsettling visuals, her way with a sentence, her way with a world to an epic canvas. I think readers of classic fantasy will find a lot to love here—a priestess doubting her order, cities in the sky, dangerous pilgrimages, magic with a cost—and fans of authors who turn a genre upside down will also have something have something really special waiting for them.

 

Kerstin Hall is a writer and editor based in Cape Town, South Africa. She completed her undergraduate studies in journalism at Rhodes University and, as a Mandela Rhodes Scholar, continued with a Masters degree at the University of Cape Town. Her short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, and she is a first reader for Beneath Ceaseless Skies. She also enjoys photography and is inspired by the landscapes of South Africa and Namibia.

Star Eater will be available in 2021.

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