Sudanese-Arab-Ghanaian-British author Saara El-Arifi won big last week. Her debut novel The Final Strife landed a double six-figure deal in the UK and the US.

The first in an “African-inspired epic fantasy trilogy,” the novel which is set in “a cruelly divided Empire” and features “a spiky heroine with a heart of gold” has been described as “reading like N K Jemisin meets Patrick Rothfuss.”

The Bookseller reports that Natasha Brandon, publishing director at HarperVoyager, acquired the UK and Commonwealth (excluding Canada) rights from Juliet Mushens at Mushens Entertainment in a six-figure deal after a five way auction. Similarly, the North American rights were secured by Tricia Narwani at Del Rey US from Ginger Clark at Curtis Brown US, on behalf of Mushens.

The book will be released simultaneously from both publishers in 2022.

El-Arifi expressed excitement at snagging such a sweet deal:

I couldn’t be happier that The Final Strife has found a home at HarperVoyager. Being published alongside some of greats of the fantasy genre is a dream fully realised, and I can’t wait to collaborate with them throughout the trilogy. Their passion and dedication to sharing Sylah’s story with readers really resonated with me throughout the auction process and I look forward to working with them every step of the way.

Here’s a synopsis of The Final Strife from the publishers:

Stolen from her noble crib as a child, Sylah was one of ‘the Sandstorm’: 12 Ember children raised by rebels to one day bring down the empire — until a massacre left her the lone survivor.

Years later she spends her days numb from addiction, fighting (and winning) in the ring to fund her habit. But when her long-lost stepbrother returns, determined to fulfil the purpose they were trained for, Sylah is caught between her blood, and her loyalties.

Forced to confront everything she has run from, and the truth of her past, can Sylah achieve the destiny she was trained for?

Brittle Paper congratulates Saara El-Arifi!