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Brittany N. Williams’s That Self-Same Metal “seamlessly weaves together history, fantasy, culture, magic, and love” (New York Times bestselling author Daniel José Older), in a stunning YA fantasy debut, first in the Forge & Fracture Saga, perfect for fans of Holly Black and Justina Ireland, about a Black girl (and sword expert) fighting a Fae uprising in Shakespearean London.
Sixteen-year-old Joan Sands is a gifted craftswoman who creates and upkeeps the stage blades for William Shakespeare’s acting company, The King’s Men. Joan’s skill with her blades comes from a magical ability to control metal—an ability gifted by her Head Orisha, Ogun. Because her whole family is Orisha-blessed, the Sands family have always kept tabs on the Fae presence in London.
Usually that doesn’t involve much except noting the faint glow around a Fae’s body as they try to blend in with London society, but lately, there has been an uptick in brutal Fae attacks. After Joan wounds a powerful Fae and saves the son of a cruel lord, she is drawn into political intrigue in the human and Fae worlds.
Swashbuckling, romantic, and full of the sights and sounds of Shakespeare’s London, this series starter delivers an unforgettable story—and a heroine unlike any other.
About the Author
Brittany N. Williams is a classically trained actress who studied musical theatre at Howard University and Shakespearean performance at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama in London. Previously she’s been a principal vocalist at Hong Kong Disneyland, a theater professor at Coppin State University, and made appearances in Queen Sugar and Leverage: Redemption. Her short stories have been published in the Gambit Weekly, Fireside Magazine, and the Star Wars anthology From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back.
“Williams weaves an intricate, historically rich tapestry. Fans of Holly Black and Sarah J. Maas will love this start of a new series.”—School Library Journal
"The theater nerd in me suspected I'd love this story of a gifted young woman who fashions weapons for Shakespeare's players, and I was not let down. Perfect for anyone looking for a fresh take on faerie magic."—Leigh Bardugo, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Full of nimble prose and wit as sharp as the blades on its pages, this book is nothing short of a spectacular debut . . . I know that this is going to be a groundbreaking addition to the fantasy genre.”—Ayana Gray, New York Times-bestselling author Beasts of Prey
“Every sentence of That Self-Same Metal will thunder through your bones. Rich in place and time, with a steely protagonist at its center, I felt like I'd been spirited to another land and time.”—Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Gilded Wolves and the Aru Shah series
"Wildly imaginative and refreshingly diverse, Williams weaves a twisty Shakespearean-inspired fantasy taut with intrigue."
—J. Elle, New York Times bestselling author of Wings of Ebony
"Williams’ debut is an absolute feast of imagination. Complex, brooding, impossible to put down."—Scott Reintgen, bestselling author of A Door in the Dark
"Seamlessly weaves together history, fantasy, culture, magic, and love . . . I couldn't stop reading it, and when I finished all I wanted was more. Joan Sands may be a hero in another era, but also she's the one we urgently need in books right now."—Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowshaper and Ballad & Dagger
“The fighting, on stage and off, between Joan and the real-life counterparts of the Fae characters from Shakespeare’s plays is exciting. There’s been diligent research about the time period, politics, and faery folklore. Interesting characters offering brilliant representations of queerness and set in a glorious foundation will pull readers in. Promising and original.”—Kirkus Reviews
“In her debut, Williams has crafted an addicting, original story that isn’t afraid to take risks. While the world is rooted in history and even boasts famous historical figures, the prominent Black and brown characters and exploration of queer love are a refreshing addition. With charming characters and surprising twists, this historical fantasy will delight readers of all ages.”—Booklist
"Glorious . . . starring a heroine you instantly root for and admire.”—The New York Times
"Fast-paced and full of enthusiastic little winks to real-life people and events, That Self-Same Metal offers a fresh take on inclusive historical fantasy.”—NPR