The Balloon Thief
A commercial, thrilling and beautifully uplifting fantasy adventure, The Balloon Thief follows Khadija and Jacob’s battle for friendship in a society plagued by racism and misogyny. For fans of Noughts & Crosses and We Hunt the Flame.
Publisher: Chicken House
Publication Date: March 3, 2022
"The year's must-read YA fantasy – ancient jinn, an epic adventure, and one girl's courage to seek her own destiny ...
Burn the flame. Seek the night.
For Khadija, the only escape from her father’s arranged betrothal is the sky.
When she spots a rogue hot air balloon fighting against its ropes, she leaps at the chance for adventure. Khadija soon finds an unlikely ally in a poor glassmaker’s apprentice, Jacob.
But Jacob is a hāri, and Khadija a Ghadaean. The hāri are oppressed and restless – their infamous terrorist group, the Hāreef, have a new fearsome leader. And the ruling Ghadaeans are brutal in their repression.
Soon, a deadly revolution threatens their friendship and their world. The Hāreef use forbidden magic, summoning jinn – wicked spirits made of fire – to enact their revenge, forcing Jacob and Khadija to choose what kind of a world they want to save …"
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Aneesa Marufu lives in Manchester and was the winner of the Kimberley Chambers Kickstart Prize for underrepresented writers in 2019. Her debut novel, The Balloon Thief, is inspired by her South Asian heritage and her obsession with hot air balloons, though she is yet to fly in one!
When she isn’t dreaming up stories set in the clouds, she has both feet on the ground, running after her two children or hunting for her next fantasy book to escape into.
Tags: YA, Fantasy, BIPOC