Publication Date: September 03, 2019
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Ages 13 And Up, Grades 8 And Up
A young woman with a dangerous power she barely understands. A smuggler with secrets of his own. A country torn between a merciless colonial army, a terrifying tyrant, and a feared rebel leader.
The first book in acclaimed author Heidi Heilig’s Shadow Players trilogy blends traditional storytelling with ephemera for a lush, page-turning tale of escape and rebellion.
In a starred review, School Library Journal called For a Muse of Fire “[A] must-have story with an inclusive cast, high stakes, and an intense cliff-hanger.”
“Be prepared to stay up late with this one.”—NPR.org
Jetta’s family is famed as the most talented troupe of shadow players in the land. With Jetta behind the scrim, their puppets seem to move without string or stick—a trade secret, they say. In truth, Jetta can see the souls of the recently departed and bind them to the puppets with her blood.
But ever since the colonizing army conquered their country the old ways are forbidden, so Jetta must never show, never tell. Her skill and fame are her family’s way to earn a spot aboard the royal ship to Aquitan, where shadow plays are the latest rage, and where rumor has it the Mad King has a spring that cures his ills.
Because seeing spirits is not the only thing that plagues Jetta.
But as rebellion seethes and as Jetta meets a young smuggler, she will face truths and decisions that she never imagined—and safety will never seem so far away.
Heidi Heilig creates a vivid, rich world inspired by Southeast Asian cultures and French colonialism. Her characters are equally complex and nuanced, including the bipolar heroine.
Told from Jetta’s first-person point-of-view, as well as chapters written as play scripts and ephemera such as telegrams and letters, For a Muse of Fire is an engrossing journey that weaves magic, simmering romance, and the deep bonds of family with the high stakes of epic adventure.
Kirkus said, “Readers will be rewarded with vividly drawn settings reminiscent of Hawaii and Southeast Asia, exciting action scenes, and a complex protagonist. . . . compelling.”