The Phoenix Keeper

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Author: S. A. MacLean

Category: Fiction & related items

Book Format: Paperback / softback

Publisher: Gollancz

ISBN: 9781399616560

RRP: $34.99

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As head phoenix keeper at a world-renowned zoo for magical creatures, Aila’s childhood dream of conserving critically endangered firebirds seems closer than ever. There’s just one glaring caveat: her zoo’s breeding program hasn’t functioned for a decade. When a tragic phoenix heist sabotages the flagship initiative at a neighbouring zoo, Aila must prove her derelict facilities are fit to take the reins.

But saving an entire species from extinction requires more than stellar animal handling skills. Carnivorous water horses, tempestuous thunderhawks, mischievous dragons… Aila has no problem wrangling beasts. Inspiring zoo patrons? That’s another story. Mustering the courage to ask for help from the hotshot griffin keeper at the zoo’s most popular exhibit? Virtually impossible.

Especially when that hotshot griffin keeper happens to be her arch-rival from college: Luciana, an annoyingly brooding and insufferable know-it-all with the grace of a basilisk and the face of a goddess who’s convinced that Aila’s beloved phoenix would serve their cause better as an active performer rather than as a passive conservation exhibit.

With the world watching and the threat of poachers looming, Aila’s success is no longer merely a matter of keeping her job… She is the keeper of the phoenix, and the future of a species now rests on her shoulders. There’s just one thing she has to remember: she is also not alone.

Against an epic fantasy backdrop teeming with all your favourite mythical beasts from dragons and unicorns to kelpies and krakens, The Phoenix Keeper combines the cozy fantasy stakes of TJ Klune and Travis Baldree with the heartwarming contemporary romance of Alice Oseman and Casey McQuiston.

S. A. MacLean is a fantasy romance author from sunny Southern California. Infatuated with magical worlds since her days of brewing mud potions in her childhood garden, she fell in love with the romantasy genre after realising all her favourite fantasy novels had kisses in them. Her stories invariably feature quirky humour, sassy animal companions, and queer casts who represent her voice as a chaotic bisexual woman. Sarah received her BS in Natural Resources from Cornell University and a PhD in Environmental Science from UC Berkeley. She left the research track to teach environmental science at her local community college, inspiring the next generation of students to save the planet. Follow her on social media @authorsamaclean.

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