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Anna-Marie McLemore has a gift for writing enchanting prose and lovingly detailed characters. Told in alternating points-of-view across five centuries, their queer retelling of the classic fairy tale "The Red Shoes" will keep you turning pages late into the night.
Kate— From Dark and Deepest Red
With Anna-Marie McLemore's signature lush prose, Dark and Deepest Red pairs the forbidding magic of a fairy tale with a modern story of passion and betrayal.
Summer, 1518. A strange sickness sweeps through Strasbourg: women dance in the streets, some until they fall down dead. As rumors of witchcraft spread, suspicion turns toward Lavinia and her family, and Lavinia may have to do the unimaginable to save herself and everyone she loves.
Five centuries later, a pair of red shoes seal to Rosella Oliva’s feet, making her dance uncontrollably. They draw her toward a boy who knows the dancing fever’s history better than anyone: Emil, whose family was blamed for the fever five hundred years ago. But there’s more to what happened in 1518 than even Emil knows, and discovering the truth may decide whether Rosella survives the red shoes.
"McLemore weaves another magic spell...The author spins a tale of first love, misfits forging their own places in the world, and the inherent prejudices of people who fear what they don't understand. This novel will leave an indelible mark on readers' hearts."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"McLemore fashions another gorgeous novel that reminds readers of the ways fairy-tale evils and, more importantly, love have their roots in the real world...McLemore’s well-choreographed story will dance on in readers’ minds." —Booklist, starred review
"McLemore skillfully weaves together these parallel medieval and modern tales in alternating chapters...Dark and Deepest Red’s provocative, insightful collision of fairy tale and history is a powerful demonstration of McLemore’s immense talent." —Bookpage, starred review
"McLemore's vision and skill inspire awe in this gorgeously rendered novel...McLemore's settings charm and their plotting captivates, but it is their devoted and deep character development that makes the work so enthralling." —Shelf Awareness, starred review
"A powerful exposé of how differences are misunderstood, judged, and villainized by fear... A bold contemporary journey into generational secrets and perceptions of evil and otherness." —School Library Journal
"The sort of book that ruins all other books for you. Lush, hypnotic, and an absolute feast for the senses... McLemore has once again proved themself to be one of the finest writers working today.” —Mackenzi Lee, New York Times-bestselling author of The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
“One of the most beautiful books I’ve read in years. McLemore is a master."—Susan Dennard, New York Times–bestselling author of the Witchlands series
"Lush, bewitching, and captivating, this shines a triumphant light on the stories of those who have too long had to be silent or lived only in the shadows of history." —Robin LaFevers, New York Times bestselling author of His Fair Assassin
“A story to wreck your heart, sew it up, and set it free.” —Martha Brockenbrough, author of Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary
“Eerily suspenseful, achingly romantic, and fiercely defiant.” —Rebecca Speas, One More Page Books
“Graceful as a dancing slipper, complex as a chemical reaction, magical as an incantation. A masterpiece.” — Elana K. Arnold, Printz Honor winner and author of Red Hood
Praise for Blanca & Roja:
"Any fan of McLemore’s body of work, Bone Gap by Laura Ruby, or Malinda Lo’s fantasy will revel in this novel. A magical and lovely first purchase for all YA shelves." —School Library Journal, starred review
"McLemore is at her finest... She writes open-heartedly about families found and families given, the weight of expectation and the price of duty, and in the end offers up something that's vibrant, wondrously strange, and filled to the brim with love of all kinds." —Booklist, starred review
"McLemore weaves in powerful themes of identity, family, and first love, but there are also much-needed messages about overcoming hurtful stereotypes and expectations. McLemore's poignant retelling is a must-read for fans of fantasy and fairy tales." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Praise for Wild Beauty:
"No one does magical realism quite like McLemore . . . Sheer magic: fierce, bright, and blazing with possibility." —Booklist, starred review
"McLemore weaves an intricate tale of family, love, loss, and flowers." —School Library Journal, starred review