Orphaned as young women, Celestia and Izara De Malena find themselves land rich but destitute, with only a failing rainforest acreage, Celestia’s perfect manners, and Izara’s nascent magic to their aristocratic names. With the last of their money running out, they enact a dangerous plan—using a spell she doesn’t fully understand, Izara summons the Lady of the Seraphine and demands a favor: a husband for Celestia, one rich enough to enable the De Malena sisters to keep their land. But a favor from the river goddess always comes at a cost...
Now, five years later, rumors of war and disease are spreading, Celestia’s husband has been called away on a secret mission for the Emperor, and the Lady of the Seraphine is back to collect her due. Izara will be forced to leave the academy where she has been studying to become a mage; Celestia will be pulled from her now-flourishing farm while newly pregnant with her first child. Together, they must repay their debt to the Lady—embarking on a mission that will put them on a collision course with Celestia’s husband, the Emperor, and a god even more powerful than the Lady of the Seraphine.
Gorgeous, compelling, and utterly captivating, The Beholden follows Celestia and Izara as they journey from the lush rainforest to a frozen desert on an impossible quest to find a god who doesn’t want to be found and prevent the end of the world.
“Lush and compelling, Clarke has created a world that captivates . . . A gorgeous story with a deep heart.” —Fran Wilde, Nebula Award-winning author of Updraft
“A wonderful, creepy quest through a magical, ever-changing wilderness, with the world at stake and love in the balance. More please!” —Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Max Gladstone
“An atmospheric tale of two sisters, each as formidable in her own way as the gods they must battle, The Beholden
is a story to lose yourself in. Clarke’s intricately-designed world of rogue magics and unique powers is a character all its own.” —Louisa Morgan, author of A Secret History of Witches
is a rich enchantment of a novel, dizzying, dangerous, and delightful. I loved it.” —Trent Jamieson, award-winning author of Day Boy
“A dark and gripping fantasy with the atmosphere of a haunted southern evening on the bayou. I loved it!” —Stina Leicht, author of Persephone Station