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Saint Death's Daughter: 2023 World Fantasy Award Winner!

Published by Solaris
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

A blackly funny, gloriously queer coming-of-age fantasy with love, beauty and necromancy by World Fantasy Award-winning author C.S.E. Cooney.


Nothing complicates life like Death.

Lanie Stones, the daughter of crown-appointed killers, was born with a gift for necromancy—and a literal allergy to violence. For her own safety, she was raised in isolation in a crumbling mansion by the family’s mouldering revenant.

When Lanie’s parents are murdered, she and her psychotic sister Nita must settle their extensive debts or lose their ancestral home. When Liriat’s ruler, too, is murdered, it throws the whole nation’s future into doubt.

Hunted by Liriat’s enemies, terrorised by family ghosts and tortured by a forbidden love for a childhood friend, Lanie will need more than luck to get through the next few months—but when the goddess of Death is on your side, anything is possible.

About The Author

C. S. E. Cooney is the author of World Fantasy Award-winning Bone Swans: Stories. Her short novel The Twice-Drowned Saint is included in Mythic Delirium’s anthology The Sinister Quartet. Other work includes novella Desdemona and the Deep, and a poetry collection: How to Flirt in Faerieland and Other Wild Rhymes, which features her Rhysling Award-winning “The Sea King’s Second Bride.” Her short fiction and poetry can be found in Jonathan Strahan’s anthology Dragons, Ellen Datlow’s Mad Hatters and March Hares: All-New Stories from the World of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Rich Horton’s Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, and elsewhere.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Solaris (February 14, 2023)
  • Length: 656 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781786188526

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Raves and Reviews

"Newcomers will still find Cooney’s glittering narrative skills and vivid worldbuilding addictive, her diverse characters intriguing, and her message of justice and freedom stirring. This remarkable and richly detailed adventure is worth savoring." -- Publishers Weekly

– Publishers Weekly

“C. S. E. Cooney is one of the most moving, daring, and plainly beautiful voices to come out of recent fantasy. She’s a powerhouse.” -- Catherynne M. Valente, NYT-bestselling author of the Fairyland novels

– Catherynne M. Valente

“A delicious stew of science fiction, horror, and fantasy, marked by unforgettable characters who plumb the depths of pathos and triumph.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

– Publishers Weekly

“Memorable prose propelled by extraordinary ideas… Twisted genius!” — Locus

– Locus Magazine

"These stories are a pure joy.” —Delia Sherman, author of Young Woman in a Garden: Stories

– Delia Sherman

"Stories of surpassing delicacy and wit, told by a lady of rare talent.” -- Ysabeau S. Wilce, Andre Norton Award-winning author of Flora's Dare

– Ysabeau S. Wilce

"Highly original, mythic in scope, lyrically told, just plain fun." -- Nicole Kornher-Stace, author of Archivist Wasp

– Nicole Kornher-Stace

"C.S.E. Cooney's Bone Swans is like visiting a literary Ys. Coaxed by her deft hand, lands and people long lost to memory resurface, breaking through the hearts of readers with the force of a gentle tsunami. Once that wave has broken over you, you are never the same." -- Tiffany Trent, author of The Unnaturalists

– Tiffany Trent

"Like one of her characters, C. S. E. Cooney is a master piper, playing songs within songs. Her stories are wild, theatrical, full of music and murder and magic.” -- James Enge, author of Blood of Ambrose

– James Enge

"It's a treasure chest of a collection, and it's full of gems.” -- Sharon Shinn, author of the Elemental Blessings series

– Sharon Shinn

Desdemona and the Deep is an eloquent, elegant novella about power, art, consequence and change. It’s also pleasantly queer and drunk on language, which appealed to me deeply. I recommend it.” – Liz Bourke, Locus

– Liz Bourke, Locus Magazine

“Edgy, romantic, earthy, and colorful.“ -- Amy Goldschlager, Locus

– Amy Goldschlager, Locus Magazine

"There is always the music of the writing, and the comic coloration, and the engaging and just awakening Desdemona to keep us entranced." -- Rich Horton, Locus

– Rich Horton

"A rococo romp through strange and eerily familiar worlds."-- Erin Downey Howerton, Booklist

– Erin Downey Howerton, Booklist

"The writing is dense with poetry, festooned to the eyelids -- occasionally to the gills and other body-parts -- with fantastic imagery that comes together in the end in unexpected and entirely satisfying ways." -- Patricia A. McKillip

– Patricia A. McKillip

"Is it extravagant? Yes. Does it flirt with camp? Oh, yes. Is it so beautiful, smart and joyful that I finished it gasping? Yes, yes, YES." -- Robert V.S. Redick, author of The Fire Sacraments Trilogy, and The Chathrand Voyage Quartet

– Robert Redick

"A story that is by turns sly, sensual, and surprisingly sweet, Cooney spins an unexpected tale with an absolutely perfect ending." -- Sharon Shinn, author of the Samaria series, and the Twelve Houses series

– Sharon Shinn

“CSE Cooney’s prose once again delivers on the promise of the wild magic and music. Saint Death's Daughter will leave you feeling she's actually summoned a new world, and you might just stumble upon it around the next corner. Glorious.”—Angela Slatter, award-winning author of All the Murmuring Bones

“C.S.E. Cooney has always been a consummate wordsmith, but with Saint Death’s Daughter she proves she’s a master of long form fantasy as well. Cooney sets her budding young necromancer adrift in a dazzlingly dark, weird, engaging and strangely warm world alive with memorable characters, hidden secrets and sinister intrigues. Everything, from tiny elements of characterization to overall pacing to information about the setting, is handled with a deft skill others should strive to emulate. This is a masterful work from a writer at the top of her game. I can hardly wait to see what she conjures next!”—Howard Andrew Jones, author of the Ring-Sworn Trilogy

“Sumptuous, bawdy and layered as a mille-feuille... this book is impossible not to devour.”—Lisa L. Hannett, author of Songs for Dark Seasons

"It feels like overhearing a convo between Terry Pratchett and Susanna Clarke. A total must if you dig footnotes or fantasy." -- Patty Templeton

“A giddy, glittering mosaic of incautious hope and over-generous loves.”—Kathleen Jennings, author of Flyaway

“A mind-spinningly original bit of worldbuilding, and an emotional arc so moving that I cried like a baby.”—Caitlyn Paxson

“Cooney’s prose, is a vast, note-perfect song. There’s no voice like it.”—Robert V. S. Redick, author of Master Assassins

Saint Death’s Daughter is a triumph of a book, gorgeous beyond measure, fizzing with Cooney’s love for language, her inventiveness in prose; it is also unbearably tender in how it addresses the idea of death and legacy, the love we can gather into a life before we curl to sleep in Death’s arms.”—Cassandra Khaw, author of The Salt Grows Heavy

Saint Death’s Daughter is filled with lavish world building, lyrical prose, and characters to die for. C S.E. Cooney is a faerie queen barely trying to pass in the mundane world. This book is as luminous and flamboyant as she is.”—Tina Jens, award winning author of The Blues Ain’t Nothin’: Tales of the Lonesome Blues Pub

Gorgeous, sexy, cruel and compassionate and funny. Such rich, delicious world-building and frankly lovable characters (even the baddies are compelling!). I relished every word.”—Liz Duffy Adams, author of Tremontaine and Whitehall

Saint Death’s Daughter is a tumultuous, swaggering, cackling story, a gorgeous citrus orchard with bones for roots. Miscellaneous Stones’ journey into adulthood and power, sorting knowledge from wisdom and vengeance from justice, has an ocean’s breadth and depth, its storms and sparkles and salt. Soaring with love and absolutely fizzing with tenderness and joy—I have never read anything so utterly alive.”—Amal El-Mohtar

“Just as magical as I knew it would be. The compassion Claire has for her characters, the ways in which she draws the reader deep into her world, are peerless and divine. I could go on about the wonder of her prose, but I’d rather readers just dive straight in and discover it for themselves.”—Tiffany Trent, author of The Unnaturalists

Saint Death’s Daughter is marvellous: it strikes an expert balance between light and dark, serious and ludicrous, and always keeps a wonderful, strong, queer energy about itself.”—Mike Brooks, author of The God-King Chronicles

“I loved Saint Death’s Daughter to pieces. I loved the world-building and the characters and the way that every time I thought I knew what kind of book it was, it changed. There was an ebullience to this book, in its world-building (with footnotes!) and its prose and its characters, that I found both delightful and compelling. I enjoyed it tremendously and look forward to the next installment in the adventures of Miscellaneous Immiscible Stones.”—Katherine Addison, author of The Goblin Emperor

“C.S.E. Cooney’s tale of a young necromancer allergic to violence is infused with brilliantly intricate world-building, dark humour, diverse characters and even a touch of whimsy. As Miscellaneous ‘Lanie’ Stones navigates her world of familial strife, both natural and supernatural, and her own burgeoning powers, you can’t help but learn to love death alongside her.”—Rhianna Pratchett

“Wildly inventive.”Buzzfeed

– Buzzfeed

“Cooney’s prose is beautiful and intricate and glowing.”The Colorado Sun

– The Colorado Sun

“Every character arrives in a burst: fully-realized, always finding their mark, dripping with detail and a fire in their heart.”—

Saint Death’s Daughter exemplifies what fantasy can do in the best of ways.”Strange Horizons

“Grisly, dark, lovely, funny, heartfelt.”Kirkus, starred review

“I can usually predict story beats long before they happen but the author managed to surprise me with the depth and complexity of the characters, especially the antagonists.” -- The Southern Bookseller Review

“Strange and magical adventures in a colorful world where most people are gender fluid, the gods are strange and death is not an ending.” -- Thornwell Books

“This is the weirdest book I have read in a long time – and yet it’s weirdness is charming. Somewhat reminiscent of What We Do in the Shadows or The Addams Family.” -- Booknest

“The novel complicates and recomplicates, always to its benefit. There’s a puppy! And there is suspense, and twists, and a satisfying resolution that gives no one all they want.” -- Black Gate

“I don’t want to tell you much about this book. I want you to experience it the way I did; a cake whose every layer is more delicious than the last; a gemstone that always has another glittering facet when you turn it over in your hands; a gift that never stops giving. This is a book you should go into unprepared – and unarmed.” -- Every Book a Doorway

“The broad aesthetic here is ‘whimsical gothic’: early chapters have a real Ghormengast-y vibe, which Cooney balances with a story that builds increasing nuance. Saint Death’s Daughter has gone straight to the favourites list, and I can’t wait to see where the adventures of Lanie take her.” -- Nerds of a Feather

“A beautiful, stunning work of literature, more art than words, and something that I recommend everyone reads.” -- Just Geeking By

“Lanie’s journey from a young woman to adulthood is compelling; the rise of her necromantic power and how she learns to wield it is enthralling. The world the author has built around Lanie is intricate and beautifully realised. It is a story that rewards the time invested in it.” -- British Fantasy Society

“I’ve never met a book that is so completely sure of itself. Cooney could have gone off on any tangent and I would have completely believed it. I loved Saint Death’s Daughter for its complexities and characters and chaos and I think this will remain one of my top reads of the year.” -- FanFiAddict

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