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Zaffre snaps up Corland’s fantasy debut in significant 24 hour pre-empt

Zaffre, the flagship commercial fiction imprint of Bonnier Books UK’s Zaffre Publishing Group, has acquired Mai Corland’s debut adult fantasy trilogy Five Broken Blades in a 24-hour pre-empt for a significant six-figure sum. 

Kelly Smith, senior commissioning editor, acquired UK and Commonwealth (excluding Canada and audio) English language rights from Nicole Resciniti at Alliance Rights Agency. Zaffre will be publishing simultaneously with Red Tower Books (part of Entangled Publishing) in the US. 

Five Broken Blades is described as Six of Crows meets Kill Bill in a feast of treason and seduction, set against a dazzling fantasy backdrop inspired by Korean myth and legend. When five ruthless killers with five deadly motives converge, they can agree on murder, they can agree on treachery—but trust? Let the best liar win…

Author Mai Corland said: “I am so thrilled to have Bonnier Books bring Five Broken Blades to the UK and beyond! My dark adventure fantasy draws on both eastern and western inspiration to weave a tale of liars and killers with one target: the king’s crown. They wind up with more than they bargained for trying to steal this particular relic! I can’t wait for readers to meet my strongman, poison maiden, exiled prince, spymaster, thief, and nobleman. And I am floored by the enthusiasm of the whole Bonnier team — I know my story is in the best possible hands as this trilogy goes global.”

Senior Commissioning Editor Kelly Smith said: “Five Broken Blades has all the ingredients to be your next epic fantasy obsession: a quest, betrayal and spice in a richly drawn world. From the moment I read the pitch, I knew this was something special. I am delighted to be working with Mai Corland and Red Tower Books on what is set to be the next fantasy phenomenon.”

Zaffre will launch their SFF list with this title in May 2024, and the book has also been pre-empted around the world including US, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, and Brazil.

Mai Corland is a Korean American attorney and writer, born in Seoul and adopted into New York. From there, she ran away from winter and studied in Florida at Rollins College and the University of Miami. Due to a variety of questionable decisions, she currently lives in the cold again with her partner, children, and a goldfish who will outlive them all. When not writing, you can find her asleep or clutching her latte machine. Mai writes award winning children’s and young adult books under Meredith Ireland.

Five Broken Blades will be published in hardback and ebook in May 2024, from Zaffre.