BAFTA AND MOBO award-winning artist and writer Akala has revealed
the cover of his debut novel for The Dark Lady.
Described as a “page-turning action-packed debut set in Shakespearean London”, The Dark Lady will be published by Hachette Children’s Group on the Hodder Children’s Books imprint in April 2020.
illustrated by Kingsley Nebechi, the book follows a street kid called Henry from the Devil’s Gap, London’s most notorious slum.
“For Henry, a boy thief with brown skin, inherited from a mother who abandoned him, life is tougher still,” the press release reads.
“The Dark Lady enters his dreams at night. She seems to represent a past, and possible future…
“Steal or starve, cheat or be cheated, take control of his life or let the cruel order of Shakespearean London rule over him. These are Henry’s impossible choices in a world that rejects him. So Henry learns to read, he trains to become the best thief the Gap has ever seen, and he also hones a magical gift that holds the key to his freedom. But when a cruel duke offers knowledge, power and riches in exchange for the betrayal of his best friend, Henry’s choices are more impossible than ever.”
Akala’s debut novel for teens plunges the reader into the visceral, violent streets of Shakespearean London – this timely and daring novel for teenagers speaks authentically to a new generation about their lives, hopes and fears through the powerful lens of history.