Called a "fierce and darkly magical thrill ride" by acclaimed author Ava Reid, NYT bestselling Kalyn Josephson delivers a spellbinding fantasy full of intrigue, romance, and pulse-pounding action, perfect for fans of The Shadows Between Us and The Scorpio Races.
Every ten years, the citizens of Veradell gather for the Illinir, a treacherous horse race famous for its alluring prize money and high body count. Tough-as-nails Mikira Rusel, the last in a line of renowned horse breeders, is desperate to win this year's race at any cost. But to make it to the track, she'll need to gather new friends and escape the crosshairs of old foes . . .
A beautiful rogue enchanter with a hidden past just beginning to come into her true power.
A dashing and ambitious young lord in the midst of a fierce succession battle.
A brilliant, prickly loner loyal only to his friends, and his loveable but mysterious pet cat.
A ruthless aristocrat determined to protect his family's prestige -- and unrivaled power.
Each one has their own vengeful secrets to protect and reasons to help -- or hinder -- Mikira's odds of winning the Illinir. And in a world as dangerous as this, who among them will be left standing at the finish line?
About the Author
Kalyn Josephson works as a Technical Writer in the tech industry, which leaves room for too many bad puns about technically being a writer. She grew up in San Luis Obispo, California, and graduated from Santa Clara University with degrees in Biology and Creative Writing. Currently, she lives in the Bay Area with two black cats (who are more like a tiny dragon and an ever tinier owl). She is the author of the Storm Crow duology.
Praise for This Dark Descent
★ "An uncommonly arresting fantasy that questions the price of goodness, the cost of magic, and the depths of humanity." —Booklist, starred review
"This Dark Descent runs a breathless and delightfully twisting course full of danger and heartbreak, machinations and magic. I loved it and I can’t wait for more!” —Melissa Caruso, author of the Swords and Fire series
"A riveting, clever Jewish fantasy that had me racing through the pages. With dangerous magic, high-stakes political intrigue, and a stunning cast of characters (and animal companions!), This Dark Descent is sure to leave readers begging for the sequel." —Allison Saft, New York Times bestselling author of A Far Wilder Magic
"Kalyn Josephson has crafted a rich world and a tightly-plotted story that kept me reading well into the night. Anchored by the emotional nuance of the two leads, this tale of horse-racing, magic, and power is not to be missed." —Emily Lloyd-Jones, international bestselling author of The Drowned Woods
"Brimming with action, political intrigue, and a touch of romance, This Dark Descent is a fierce and darkly magical thrill ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat." —Ava Reid, award-winning author of Juniper & Thorn
"A deliciously dark and fast-paced novel that I could not put down from the minute I picked it up! Full of twists and turns you won't know who to trust. Josephson is a master at crafting gripping and intense scenes that make you feel as though you are in the middle of the action yourself. Truly an incredible story that you don't want to miss!" —Joss Diaz, Kepler's Books
"A breathless exploration of the differences - and lack thereof - between monsters and men, with a glimmering romantic thread woven through secrets, lies, and hidden plots. I read it all in one sitting!" —Beth Revis, New York Times bestselling author of Give the Dark My Love and Night of the Witch
"Josephson weaves an enchanting fantasy with lore steeped in Jewish culture, a cast of whip smart characters, and more perilous twists and turns than any race track. Hang on to your hats - This Dark Descent is a truly thrilling ride!" —Rosiee Thor, author of Fire Becomes Her
"This Dark Descent transports readers into an epic world of scheming lords and those desperate enough to step into their crosshairs for a chance at survival . . . I loved it so much, I read it twice!" —Shannon Price, author of The Endless Skies and A Thousand Fires
"This Dark Descent explodes out the gate like an enchanted horse in a death-defying race. A skillfully layered world, high stakes action, and dynamic character relationships rife with complex motivations and compelling backstories unite for a gripping read that kept me utterly absorbed from the first page to the last." —Nicki Pau Preto, author of the Crown of Feathers trilogy and the House of the Dead duology
"Josephson presents... ever-evolving figures with interestingly complementary approaches to the world and the circumstances they find themselves in. Jewish history strongly informs the backstory of this fantasy world’s people." —Publishers Weekly
"Original and engaging." —Kirkus Reviews
"Absorbing . . . A final twist brings together threads . . . setting up a second volume to eagerly await." —BCCB
Booklist Editors' Choice
A Paste Magazine's Best Book of the Year
A YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults