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Christina Orlando

Traveling Between Genders in V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic

I am fifteen. I am in a white, floor-length beaded dress that corsets at the back. My hair is curled, set with hairspray, with flower-shaped crystal clips set in. For the first time in my life I have fake acrylic nails, squared off at the tip, with a delicate floral pattern painted on the ring finger. My mother has loaned me her jewelry, a delicate diamond necklace that sits just over my collarbone. I am on my way to my first prom.

Lila Bard is nineteen. She is in Calla’s clothing shop in Red London surrounded by finery. She picks up a black half-mask with two horns spiraling up from the temples. Forgoing the available dresses, she wears a black tunic, fitted trousers, and a pair of black boots made of soft, supple leather. She selects a dramatic high-collared black velvet coat with a half-cloak over her shoulders and glassy red clasps. She is on her way to a masquerade at the palace.

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“Dani and Bryce are the Abbi and Ilana of Crescent City”: Sarah J. Maas Talks About Her Adult Debut

Sarah J. Maas did not appear at BookExpo this past weekend. There weren’t even promotions available for her new novel series, Crescent City, which publishes early next year. Fans might not even know that she was here—unless they’ve spotted her walking around with her husband and her newborn baby. In a place where book authors become rockstars, Sarah J Maas is flying under the radar this year.

Crescent City marks the NYT Bestselling author’s adult debut—something she seems fairly nonplussed about, frankly. The series follows Bryce, a young woman living in a city filled with shapeshifters, vampires, and more. It’s different from the traditional fantasy she’s done in the past, taking a decidedly modern route. Crescent City’s population may be supernatural, but they still have cellphones and nightclubs and jobs to go to in the morning. It’s a shift in her career, but Maas’ fans are ready and hungry for it, having grown up with her two massive fantasy series, Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses. And her fans are, well, fanatic. Maas started writing the Throne of Glass series at just sixteen years old, and they’ve stuck by her the whole way.

But after working on that series for nearly half her life, it’s time for Sarah J. Maas to do something new.

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