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Young Adult Fiction General

Echoes and Empires

by (author) Morgan Rhodes

Penguin Young Readers Group
Initial publish date
Jan 2022
General, General, General
Recommended Age
12 to 18
Recommended Grade
7 to 12
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2022
    List Price

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From the New York Times bestselling author of the Falling Kingdoms series comes the first book in a brand-new duology about forbidden magic and dangerous secrets, for readers of Victoria Aveyard and Margaret Rogerson.

Josslyn Drake knows only three things about magic: it’s rare, illegal, and always deadly.

So when she’s caught up in a robbery gone wrong at the Queen’s Gala and infected by a dangerous piece of magic—one that allows her to step into the memories of an infamously evil warlock—she finds herself living her worst nightmare. Joss needs the magic removed before it corrupts her soul and kills her. But in Ironport, the cost of doing magic is death, and seeking help might mean scheduling her own execution. There’s nobody she can trust.

Nobody, that is, except wanted criminal Jericho Nox, who offers her a deal: his help extracting the magic in exchange for the magic itself. And though she’s not thrilled to be working with a thief, especially one as infuriating (and infuriatingly handsome) as Jericho, Joss is desperate enough to accept.

But Jericho is nothing like Joss expects. The closer she grows to Jericho and the more she sees of the world outside her pampered life in the city, the more Joss begins to question the beliefs she’s always taken for granted—beliefs about right and wrong, about power and magic, and even about herself.

In an empire built on lies, the truth may be her greatest weapon.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Morgan Rhodes is the New York Times bestselling author of the Falling Kingdoms series. She loves to write about the epic adventures of quirky, interesting characters who inhabit her imagination. A former graphic designer drawn to sparkly objects and fancy handbags, Morgan lives in Ontario, Canada, where she maintains a very healthy belief in all things magical. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @MorganRhodesYA.

Excerpt: Echoes and Empires (by (author) Morgan Rhodes)

The sound of a crash from around the corner drew my attention. I followed the sound, curious and wanting my increasingly inebriated mind to be taken away from my self-­obsessed ruminations.

The sound had come from the Lord Banyon exhibit room, and as I entered, it took me a moment to make sense of what I saw.

Three guards lay on the ground. A fourth fell to his knees, clutching his throat before dropping heavily to his side.

The fifth stood behind the one who’d just fallen—­it was the same guard whom I’d embarrassingly mistaken for Viktor earlier.

His black-­eyed gaze tracked to me, and his expression tensed.

“You again,” he said.

The multiple glasses of wine I’d consumed didn’t make it easy to process information, to say the very least, but I quickly came to the drunken realization that this Queensguard wasn’t really a Queensguard.

My gaze clumsily moved around the room, resting on each of the fallen guards. I couldn’t see any blood, but I didn’t see any movement or breathing or any signs of life at all.

“What are you doing?” I said, my words slow and slurred. “What is this?”

His expression darkened. “Listen to me very carefully. Make a move, make a sound, and I promise you’ll regret it.”

I couldn’t seem to summon a suitable comeback for that, nothing to say that would make sense of this.

He turned away from me, giving me another look at the dagger tattoo on his neck.

“Don’t worry,” he muttered. “I’ll be gone before you know it.”

Crime in Ironport was nearly unheard of, so I had no idea what I was supposed to do. This sort of thing just didn’t happen here.

I wanted to open my mouth and scream, to call for help, but his threat kept me locked in place.

He stood in front of the small golden box I’d admired earlier. He pushed the glass holder back from it and grabbed the box in one smooth motion. No alarms sounded; no sudden burst of a dozen armed guards flooded the room.

The thief looked at the box for a moment, then glanced at me. “This is all I need. I’m out of here.”

Box in hand, the thief strode toward the exit until a hand darted out and grabbed his ankle. It was the last guard who’d fallen—­he was still conscious.

The thief tripped, falling to the ground hard, and the golden box flew out of his grip.

It landed right in front of me. Before I could summon my wits to pick it up—­or run away—­the lid swung wide open, and something rose from inside. It looked like golden smoke. Breath frozen in my chest, I watched as the sparkling, shimmering, swirling golden smoke rose up in a tall funnel, as tall as me. And hung there.

I heard the thief swear, a harsh and guttural sound.

Before I could move, before I could even think, the golden smoke streamed toward me, hitting me with enough force to knock me completely off my feet.

I don’t remember landing.

I only remember the darkness.

Editorial Reviews

MYRCA Northern Lights Award Winner for best YA

★ “Unexpected twists and turns coupled with an exciting plot keep this novel moving quickly. Deep character development coupled with the crafting of complex, interesting relationships will keep readers yearning for more.” School Library Journal, starred review

“The witty banter and the enemies-to-lovers dynamic between Josslyn and Jericho are undeniably charming. Magic, romance, and politics combine in an oh-so-fun, fast-paced fantasy.” Kirkus Reviews

“Rhodes creates complex and nuanced main characters. Excellent pacing keeps the pages turning, and readers will likely want to return for the sequel.” –BCCB
“The rapid-paced plot features an intriguing romance, fueled by generous doses of amusingly antagonistic dialogue…[and] a straightforward and compelling first-person prose style.” Publisher's Weekly

“Morgan Rhodes is back with another heart-pounding fantasy adventure that delivers all you’ve come to love and expect from her: dark magic, witty dialogue, plus a feisty heroine and a dangerous bad boy you cannot help but root for.” —Nicki Pau Preto, author of the Crown of Feathers trilogy
“Echoes and Empires draws you in from page one with forbidden magic, an irrepressible heroine bent on discovering the truth, and a motley collection of characters who will keep you guessing. I need the sequel immediately!” –Elly Blake, New York Times bestselling author of Frostblood

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