Nigerian author Marvellous “Marve” Michael Anson has an exciting Yoruba fantasy trilogy titled Firstborn of the Sun set to publish with Penguin Michael Joseph, a division of Penguin Books UK. The first book of the trilogy will be released in 2025.

Anson’s trilogy is highly anticipated since the first book in the series was shortlisted for the 2022 Kit de Waal Bursary and the Friday Night Live Competition, won the 2023 Jericho Writers Self-Edit Course Bursary, and was a finalist for the 2023 Future Worlds Prize.

According to The Bookseller, Firstborn Of The Sun is “an ambitious, multiple-viewpoint, tale of first love and loyalty, magic and royalty, politics, betrayal and heart-pounding action, set in a lush new world inspired by Yoruba culture and mythology”.

The book explores a fantasy world driven by solar superpowers. The main character Lọ́rẹ has hidden her lack of sun-magic for years, fearful for her life. But when her best friend Alawani faces near certain death at the hands of the Holy Order, Lọ́rẹ discovers the power of shadow and ice within her, and a destiny that will shatter everything…

Anson remarked to The Bookseller that she was inspired by her grandmother’s stories while writing this book:

Writing Firstborn of the Sun was like weaving spells of magic and hoping that they bloom in someone’s heart as pure wonder. I am eternally grateful to my agent, Kesia, for seeing that magic and wholeheartedly in awe of Rebecca’s passion for these books. To my heart’s delight, FOTS has found an incredible home with the PMJ team. As a Yoruba woman, stories are the foundation of my culture. In this book are many tales of old as told by my grandmother and I am so excited to bring you all on this remarkably dramatic journey through the fiery deserts of Oru.

PMJ editorial director Rebecca Hilsdon acquired world rights to the trilogy from Anson’s agent within 48 hours of submission. Hilsdon added that Anson is an “extraordinary talent and the world she has created is utterly transportive”. This book’s combo of plotting, political intrigue, and romance subplot will definitely catch the attention of readers.

Anson’s first book was a self-published thriller, His Dark Reflection, which was an instant success. She is a member of the Society of Authors, Alliance of Independent Authors and the British Fantasy Society. She works as a technology consultant during the day and a storyteller at night. Anson is also a filmmaker, producing an award-winning short film in 2016 and a part of the 2017 AFRIFF Film School Scholarship Program.

Congrats to Anson on the forthcoming trilogy!