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Piccadilly Press takes a cosmic leap in major six-figure deal for middle-grade mythological series by debut author Ash Bond 

Piccadilly Press has announced the acquisition of Peregrine Quinn and the Cosmic Realm, plus two further books in this bold new adventure series by exciting debut author Ash Bond. The new series is reminiscent of Rick Riordan’s books and will appeal to readers aged 8-12.

In a hotly contested five-way auction, Ruth Bennett at Piccadilly Press acquired World English rights in print, eBook and audio for the Peregrine Quinn series, securing a three-book deal from Jessica Hare at The Agency. 

Peregrine Quinn and the Cosmic Realm is an edge-of-your-seat race between worlds as Peregrine is swept into an adventure of immortal proportions. The portals between the Cosmic Realm (Olympus) and the Terran Realm (Earth) have broken down and Peregrine’s godfather, Daedalus Bloom, has been kidnapped. To find Daedalus, and save the world, Peregrine has help in the form of trainee dryad Rowan Strong and faun Callimachus Thorn. Together, they must race through the streets of Oxford, across the London Underground (and then the Under-Under-Ground) to the ancient library of Alexandria, keeping one step ahead of those who are determined to stop them from succeeding. 

Ash Bond said: ‘The fantastical world of Peregrine Quinn has been brewing for years, and it is a giddy dream to finally introduce readers to this very weird and very wonderful adventure through the three realms. When deciding on a home for Peregrine, it was very important for Jessica and I to find an editor that understood both the madcap humour and the emotional undercurrent of the story. When we met with Ruth at Piccadilly Press she asked me questions that really pulled at the book’s heart strings, and we both came away knowing that something very magical had just happened.’

Ruth Bennett, senior commissioning editor at Piccadilly Press, said: ‘Every once in a while, a submission lands in your inbox that makes you drop everything and lose yourself in a fantastically imagined world. It’s a rare kind of magic, but that is exactly what happened when I started reading Peregrine Quinn and the Cosmic Realm. Ash is an incredibly accomplished new writer who knows how to craft a story with just the right combination of adventure, character and humour to earn a special place in your imagination and your heart! I cannot wait for everyone to join Peregrine, as she leads us on this whirlwind of adventure…’

Helen Wicks, managing director, children’s trade, added: “This thrilling foray into the middle grade fantasy space sets the agenda for the scope and ambition of Piccadilly Press’ publishing in the years to come. Peregrine Quinn is the latest example of the breadth of brilliant stories we’re bringing to readers, as we enhance our reputation as a publishing home for first rate content with strong commercial appeal from the most exciting new talent across the globe.”

Jessica Hare from The Agency comments: ‘It is a joy working with Ash who weaves the rich heritage of classical mythology, which I have always been fascinated by, into her stories with the lightest of touches – it is hard to believe that Peregrine Quinn and the Cosmic Realm is her debut! Ash has created someone so special with Peregrine Quinn – a fresh, timeless hero whose escapades through the realms will entrance middle grade readers from the word go. I am over the moon that Ash and I have found Peregrine’s perfect home with the brilliant Ruth Bennett and her wonderful team at Piccadilly Press.’

Ash Bond writes magical stories that have classical myth sprinkled through them like fairy dust. Ash is passionate about making Classics accessible to all, she was state school educated and later won a scholarship to study ancient languages and then to study Classics at the University of Oxford. She is currently studying for her PhD, focusing on the relationship between mythology and landscape, at the University of Bristol. The opening pages of Peregrine Quinn and the Cosmic Realm won first place at the Winchester Writers’ Festival, Ash was runner up for the United Prize, and was longlisted for Write Mentor’s and Guppy Books’ competitions this year. When not reading about myths, Ash is also a yoga teacher and loves to move – insisting she gets her best ideas when swimming in rivers, stomping up mountains or doing cartwheels. Peregrine Quinn and the Cosmic Realm is Ash’s debut novel. @ashbwrites

The first book in the series, Peregrine Quinn and the Cosmic Realm will be publishing in hardback in Spring 2024.