"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms."
—Muriel Rukeyser

AEI Client Alaya Johnson's The Burning City Publishers Weekly Review

The Burning City

Alaya Dawn Johnson. Agate Bolden, $14.95 paper (385p) ISBN 978-1-932841-45-9

Johnson returns to the curious island world of 2007’s Racing the Dark, where blood sacrifice can gain the favor of powerful spirits. Lana is no longer a simple island girl but a Black Angel, marked with black wings by the wind spirit. Now living amid the refugees and ruins of capital city Essel, devastated by volcanic eruption, Lana seeks her mother, who has been kidnapped by the witch Akua. Her only clue is a strange black book given to her by one of Akua’s spirits. Meanwhile, Essel roils with rebellion led by a religious fringe movement that wants to bring down the ruling Mo’i. Many think the Mo’i has lost control of Nui’ahi’s fire spirit, but Lana fears the Mo’i caused the eruption himself. Events in Essel are interwoven with those recorded long ago in Akua’s black book, creating an absorbing, complex plot. (July)

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