Tor Books announced the acquisition of The Underland and an additional standalone novel from author Alix E. Harrow, acquired at auction by Vice President, Publisher Devi Pillai from Kate McKean at Vice President at the Howard Morhaim Agency. The UK and Commonwealth rights were acquired by Bella Pagan, Publishing Director of Pan Macmillan’s Tor imprint, from Caspian Dennis at Abner Stein Ltd. Foreign rights are with Baror International and RDC Litera.
The Underland reads like a modern-day gothic fairy tale, surrounding a sinister old house and its last heir. Opal Gravely has spent her life collecting stories about Starling House, which have been passed down the generations like good china. Then one evening, she accidentally encounters Arthur Starling, its reclusive owner. He offers her a job as a cleaner and, needing the money, she accepts. But there is something beneath Starling House, clamoring to escape and wreak havoc upon the town. Even as the house tries to claim her, she learns of a greater danger ahead. But if Arthur and Opal can join forces, they might break the ties that bind them.
Of the acquisition, Pillai remarked, “There are talents that come across every few years that blow a reader out of the water. For me, reading Alix’s work was like being shot from a cannon. Its deep, immersive, lovely, lyrical—and explosive in the best ways. I can’t wait to publish the next brilliant book by one of our brightest stars.”
Harrow enthused, “As a longtime fan and reader, I am over the actual moon to be working with Tor, and so grateful to my agent, Kate McKean, for making this happen. I can’t wait to see what we make together!”
Perfect for those who loved Uprooted by Naomi Novik, The Binding by Bridget Collins, and The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert, The Underland is planned for publication in Winter 2023.
A former academic and adjunct, Alix E. Harrow is a Hugo-award winning writer living in Kentucky with her husband and their two semi-feral kids. She is the author of The Ten Thousand Doors of January, The Once and Future Witches, and the forthcoming novella A Spindle Splintered, a genre-bending twist on the classic Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. Find her on Twitter at @AlixEHarrow.