Penguin Random House / Delacorte Press have pre-empted North American rights in an epic YA fantasy trilogy from debut author Namina Forna in a significant six-figure deal just days after submission.

Set in a deeply patriarchal society, Deathless is a sprawling fantasy looking at the commodification and othering of women. Forna drew inspiration from her own experiences growing up in the midst of the Sierra Leone civil war. The first book in the series is planned for Spring 2020.

Editor Kelsey Horton said “I knew I loved this story from the very first page. First of all, I was so completely won over by Namina’s powerful writing. But I also found myself just needing to know what would happen to Deka. As I continued to root for her page after page, I discovered an equally compelling, layered world.”

Forna herself explained “I always wanted to write a book that showed girls across the world that they could be heroes, that they could fight for what’s right. Twelve years ago I got the idea for the alaki, and now, they’re coming to life. I’m so excited to share Deka with the world!”

Her agent Alice Sutherland-Hawes added “I’m so thrilled Namina’s enormous talent is being recognised and we couldn’t ask for a more enthusiastic and passionate team to have behind her. Namina is a formidable author and I’m so excited to watch her career grow.”