Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Steeplejack

Steeplejack

A Novel

Steeplejack (Volume 1)

A. J. Hartley

Tor Teen

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Thoughtfully imaginative and action-packed, Steeplejack is New York Times bestselling A. J. Hartley's YA debut set in a 19th-century South African fantasy world

Seventeen-year-old Anglet Sutonga lives repairing the chimneys, towers, and spires of the city of Bar-Selehm. Dramatically different communities live and work alongside each other. The white Feldish command the nation’s higher echelons of society. The native Mahweni are divided between city life and the savannah. And then there’s Ang, part of the Lani community who immigrated over generations ago as servants and now mostly live in poverty on Bar-Selehm’s edges.

When Ang is supposed to meet her new apprentice Berrit, she finds him dead. That same night, the Beacon, an invaluable historical icon, is stolen. The Beacon’s theft commands the headlines, yet no one seems to care about Berrit’s murder—except for Josiah Willinghouse, an enigmatic young politician. When he offers her a job investigating his death, she plunges headlong into new and unexpected dangers.

Meanwhile, crowds gather in protests over the city’s mounting troubles. Rumors surrounding the Beacon’s theft grow. More suspicious deaths occur. With no one to help Ang except Josiah’s haughty younger sister, a savvy newspaper girl, and a kindhearted herder, Ang must rely on her intellect and strength to resolve the mysterious link between Berrit and the missing Beacon before the city descends into chaos.

“A richly realized world, an intensely likable character, and a mystery to die for." — Cory Doctorow, New York Times-bestselling author

Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book for 2016

YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults

EXCERPT


CHAPTER


1


 


THE LAST PERSON UP here never made it down alive, but there was no point thinking about that. Instead, I did what I always did—focused on the work, on the exact effort...

Reviews

Praise for Steeplejack

“Hartley’s story is a thought-provoking blend of action and intrigue, with a competent and ethical heroine in Ang and a fully imagined setting whose atmosphere and cultural cues also play important roles. The result is an unforgettable page-turner built on surprises and full of potential.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Skillful writing, masterful pacing, and a capable and quite likable female detective are just a few of the things to love about this fantasy-adventure. This one won’t stay on the shelf for long.” — Booklist, starred review (May 1st), Cindy Welch

“The tension stays taut throughout the book, heightened with each precipice Anglet climbs: if she falls, the city goes to war. Smart political intrigue wrapped in all the twists and turns of a good detective story makes for a rip-roaring series opener.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“In his heart-poundingly suspenseful, elegantly crafted series debut, Steeplejack, A.J. Hartley (the Darwen Arkwright and Will Hawthorne series) introduces a tender and steely heroine in a racially tense, class-clashing world harking back to 19th-century South Africa....A city in crisis, breathtaking rooftop chases, harrowing assaults, blood oaths, love and loyalty, brutal betrayals and impressive detective work by the intelligent, intuitive Ang unfold in a fascinating, vividly described setting that includes smog and slums, gas lamps and opera houses, baboons and bushbabies. A political, multilayered mystery-thriller with a strong, impressively fierce heroine.” Karin Snelson, children's & YA editor, starred review Shelf Awareness

Steeplejack is quietly thoughtful and breathlessly exciting, and with two more series installments to follow, Ang’s personal and professional journey is far from over.” —BookPage, Teen Top Pick

“With its unique South African-inspired setting, richly-drawn and diverse cast of characters, and unstoppable plot, readers of any age won't be able to put Steeplejack down!” —Carrie Ryan, New York Times bestselling author

“With Steeplejack, A.J. Hartley introduces a dynamic, complex and likeable new heroine who combines wits, skill and courage to face deadly challenges in an exotic world. Teens and adults will love this book and want more, more, more!” —Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Rot & Ruin and The Orphan Army.

“A.J. Hartley has created an exquisite, explosive, nail-biting, tear-rousing masterpiece, in a world so realistic it might be right around the corner.” —Faith Hunter, New York Times bestselling author

“What a world Hartley has created! Enough twists and surprises to keep the pages turning long into the night.” —R.L. Stine

“A unique epic adventure set in a richly imagined world; lush, exotic and masterfully written. It's Sherlock Holmes, Oliver Twist, and Indiana Jones rolled into one.” Lissa Price, internationally bestselling author of Starters and Enders

“Smart and socially-aware, this fabulous debut adds to the growing library of multicultural fantasy and is a loudly resounding success.” —Nisi Shawl, Tiptree Award-winning author and co-author of Writing the Other: A Practical Approach

“With Steeplejack, A.J. Hartley creates a world as complex as its heroine, and a mystery that spans class, race and geography. You can feel the grit and glory of Bar-Selehm, a many-spired city teetering on the edge of the savannah, and the verge of war. The perfect setting for a street-smart young woman who is caught between three cultures, yet refuses to be trapped by them.” —Sherri L. Smith, award-winning author of Flygirls and Orleans

“Hartley has created a world so gritty and real I could taste the soot.” —Maurice Broaddus, author of the Knights of Breton Court trilogy

Steeplejack combines a lively and intelligent plot with an intriguing and well-drawn world, and caps all this goodness with a determined and indefatigable heroine.” —Kate Elliott, author of Court of Fives

“A rich, atmospheric tale of adventure, morality and consequence, Steeplejack will linger with you long after you read the last page.” —Kady Cross, author of the Steampunk Chronicles and Sisters of Blood and Spirit series

Steeplejack has everything a reader could want: Elegant prose, a cracking good mystery, lots of action, and characters to fall in love with and root for. I read it cover to cover in no time at all. In fact, I did so twice! And I was on the edge of my seat both times.” —D.B. Jackson, author of the Thieftaker series

“I was completely hooked from page one. Ang is a hero to cheer for heart and soul. A thrilling, clever, meaningful read.” —Leanna Renee Hieber, award-winning author of Strangely Beautiful and The Eterna Files

Steeplejack is an exquisitely built mystery set in a lush, vibrant world. I was loath to leave Ang and Bar-Selehm behind at the end of it. Definitely a book to be revisited again and again.” —Kat Zhang, author of What’s Left of Me

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

A. J. Hartley

A. J. HARTLEY is the international bestselling author of a dozen novels, including several archaeological thrillers, the Darwen Arkwright children's series, the Will Hawthorne fantasy adventures, novels based on Macbeth and Hamlet, and the Steeplejack series with Tor Teen. He is the Robinson Distinguished Professor of Shakespeare at UNC Charlotte.
ajhartley.net

A. J. Hartley

A. J. Hartley

From the Publisher

Tor Teen

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