Elisa A. Bonnin
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: September 20th 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Twin thieves attempt to pull off a daring heist in Stolen City, the sophomore fantasy novel from Dauntless author Elisa A. Bonnin.
The city of Leithon is under Imperial occupation and Arian Athensor has made it her playground.
In stealing magical artifacts for the Resistance, bounding over rooftops to evade Imperial soldiers, and establishing herself as the darling thief of the underground, Arian lives a life wrapped in danger and trained towards survival. She’ll steal anything for the right price, and if she runs fast enough, she can almost escape the fact that her mother is dead, her father is missing, and her brother, Liam, is tamping down a wealth of power in a city that has outlawed magic.
But then the mysterious Cavar comes to town with a job for the twins: to steal an artifact capable of ripping the souls from the living–the same artifact that used to hang around the neck of Arian’s mother. Suddenly, her past is no longer buried under adrenaline but intimately tied to the mission at hand, and Arian must face her guilt and pain head-on in order to pull off the heist.
As Arian and Cavar infiltrate the strongest fortress in Leithon and Liam joins the Resistance as their resident mage, the twins find themselves embroiled in court politics and family secrets, and the mission becomes more than just another artifact theft. The target is now the Imperial rule, and Arian will go to any length necessary to steal her city back.
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“What are some of your favorite books to read?”
It’s no surprise that I’m an avid fantasy reader. I’ll read most genres, but my comfort zone is fantasy, especially fantasy set in different worlds from ours. I particularly enjoy long books, because they tend to give me more information about the world, and the longer I stay in a world, the more the world feels real to me. I love reading series, especially those that have multiple characters, sprawling worlds that I can get lost in and complex plots.
It’s always hard for me to pick a favorite book or a favorite series, but some of the series I’ve read in the past two years that I’ve really enjoyed have been The Green Bone Saga by Fonda Lee, The Broken Earth Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin and The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson, all of which are set in big worlds and span either large distances or large amounts of time or both.
I’ve also started a few duologies and trilogies that I can’t wait to see finished, like Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan, She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan, and The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri. While it’s a standalone, I also really loved Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon.
I love books that can take me to magical places and settings, which is why Erin Morgenstern’s two books, The Night Circus and The Starless Sea are also some of my favorites. I also really enjoyed Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor, which has the titular hotel as its setting.
In YA, I love reading about interesting magic and technology systems and protagonists who act in unexpected ways, which is why I loved Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao and A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth. And of course, I love good worldbuilding and great character interactions, so I have to recommend This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede and Judy I. Lin’s The Book of Tea duology. While I haven’t finished yet, I’m currently reading Aiden Thomas’ The Sunbearer Trials, and I just know I’m going to become obsessed with this duology.
I like most of the books I read, and I’m not really a picky reader, but I love it when a book stays with me long after I put it down. I love characters that live rent-free in my head and settings that I would love to visit. When I write, those are the kind of feelings that I’m trying to invoke in my readers.
Elisa A. Bonnin was born and raised in the Philippines, after which she moved to the United States to study chemistry and later oceanography. After completing her doctorate, she moved to Germany to work as a postdoctoral scientist. A lifelong learner, Elisa is always convinced that she should “maybe take a class in something” and as a result, has amassed an eclectic collection of hobbies. But writing will always be her true love. Publishing a book has been her dream since she was eight years old, and she is thrilled to finally be able to share her stories. Dauntless is her first novel.