I am thrilled to announce that Sophia Southard is the newest addition to the kt literary family.
Sophia’s YA novel, THE PHOENIX EMPRESS, is a Vietnamese-inspired fantasy inspired by the Fall of Saigon and the author’s own experience growing up an interracial Vietnamese-American adoptee:
To avenge her best friend’s death, seventeen-year-old adoptee Sela leaves her home to plot a revenge-assassination against her birth country’s power-hungry Empress. However, with the Empress cloistered away behind three impenetrable walls, any assassination plot requires utmost stealth and the use of magic, which the Empress is hell-bent on eradicating. Sela possesses the marksmanship skills to carry off an assassination but to accomplish the rest, she reluctantly enlists the help of four ragtag musicians in her race to flee the doomed South; if she fails to kill the Empress, she will be sent to the conversion camps — a fate worse than death — leaving her vengeance unfulfilled and her homeland at the mercy of a ruthless sovereign.
Sophia blew me away with the fresh and imaginative system of magic in this vibrant, cinematic adventure. THE PHOENIX EMPRESS is part ensemble cast romp, part complex political thriller, and part speculative study on identity — on what we hold onto, what we leave behind, and what we conceal just beneath the surface.
Welcome to the team, Sophia!