British-Nigerian author M.H. Ayinde is set to publish her debut novel A Song of Legends Lost, the first in an epic fantasy trilogy. It will be published by Orbit Books in Spring 2025 in the UK and in the US.

Inspired by multiple precolonial cultures, this epic fantasy series features a stunning world where the nobility are supposed to be able to invoke their ancestors. But when a commoner summons a powerful spirit, it may be the key to ending a centuries-long war. Orbit UK won the rights in a three-book deal.

Ayinde’s debut novel is a gripping tale of revenge and rebellion. Read the full synopsis below:

In the Nine Lands, only those of noble blood can summon the spirits of their ancestors to fight in battle. But when Temi, a commoner from the slums, accidentally invokes a powerful spirit, she finds it could hold the key to ending a centuries-long war. But not everything that can be invoked is an ancestor. And some of the spirits that can be drawn from the ancestral realm are more dangerous than anyone can imagine.

We cannot wait for this scintillating novel to come out! According to Ayinde’s blog, you can expect “a huge cast, lost civilisations, working class protagonists, an underdog with mummy issues, a morally grey monk, a warrior with regrets, and LOTS of ancestor magic, all set in a queernorm world.”

Emily Byron was the editor at Orbit Books who snagged the deal. She remarked to The Bookseller that Ayinde’s writing is impressive:

Modupe’s writing blew me away from the first page – the quality of her prose, the depth of her characters, the vividness of her worldbuilding, the inventiveness of her magic system – it all adds up to something that feels at once familiar and yet incredibly original. It’s epic fantasy on a grand scale – gripping, propulsive, powerful and impossible to put down. I cannot wait for readers to be swept away by this brilliant book.

Modupe H. Ayinde was born in London’s East End and studied English Literature at university. She’s worked as a video games reviewer, magazine sub editor, and television researcher, and now works for a large media organization. She was the 2021 winner of the Future Worlds Prize. Her short fiction can be found in FIYAH Literary Magazine, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Fantasy Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Omenana, and elsewhere.

Congrats to Ayinde on the upcoming novel!