Bridgerton meets A Court of Thorns and Roses in Claire Legrand's adult debut A Crown of Ivy and Glass, the first book in the Middlemist Trilogy, a lush, sweeping fantasy-romance series that begins in spring 2023.
My First Adult Book
Some exciting news! More books are on the way—this time, an adult fantasy romance series called the Middlemist Trilogy. Book 1 is called A Crown of Ivy and Glass, and we recently revealed the cover at io9. Go check it out! You can also read an excerpt from the first chapter.
I like to describe this series as Bridgerton meets A Court of Thorns and Roses, and each book is inspired by a different classic romantic ballet—Giselle, The Firebird, and Swan Lake.
This trilogy is the story of the Ashbourne sisters—Gemma, Farrin, and Mara—who must fight the dark forces destroying the Middlemist, an ancient barrier that protects their world from the dangerous realm of the old gods. Book 1 of the Middlemist Trilogy, A Crown of Ivy and Glass, is Gemma’s story and will be my adult fiction debut. I’m ridiculously excited to share it with all of you!
You can add ACOIAG on Goodreads and stay updated about Middlemist and other book news by subscribing to my newsletter.
In this unique retelling of The Nutcracker, the author weaves the original story and characters together seamlessly with a rich setting and spins a romantic and dark new tale.
Readers will find the complex and flawed characters immensely relatable. The two narratives are deftly interwoven, and plot twists will keep teens on the edge of their seats.
Legrand excels at world-building, deftly integrating the religion and history of this imaginary world into a dark yet rousing adventure story that combines passion and danger at every turn.
There’s old-fashioned appeal in the kids roaming free and exploring the outdoors, and . . . the story’s exceedingly satisfying and well told.
Kingsbane was everything I was expecting from a sequel to Furyborn and more… This is one book I absolutely cannot wait to start selling.
Fans of the first installment won’t be disappointed, especially if they enjoyed Sarah J. Maas’ lusty romances (A Court of Thorns and Roses, BCCB 7/15, etc.).
A multilayered plot, engaging characters, and more than one mystery highlight this ambitious novel. . . . Legrand successfully weaves it all into a rich, nuanced tale that culminates in a convincing and satisfying conclusion.
Claire Legrand’s latest feminist horror novel is even more frightening than Sawkill Girls and perfect for fans of The Grace Year, Wilder Girls, and The Wicked Deep.
A sad, happy, strange book, with some of the most memorable ghosts I’ve ever read. It’s full of shadows, but it’s also full of sparks and light and big, glowing scenes, and while it’ll break your heart more than once, it somehow manages to glue it all back together by the end. I loved it.
Claire Legrand is one of the most exciting voices in YA fantasy-and in YA as a whole-writing right now.
The characters are well drawn; the specters are particularly appealing. At its heart, this not-too-scary ghost story is about relationships and repairing the hurt that people cause one another.
★ This collection of 36 short dark fantasies . . . aspires to sit on the same shelf as Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and succeeds admirably. . . . Readers who enjoy their Halloween chills all year round will find this anthology a delight.
★ Legrand handles the tough subject of childhood mental health gently and honestly, and. . . . paints a realistic picture of a girl trying to figure out what’s wrong with her. Finley’s quest to uncover family secrets reveals not just what kept her father away from his relatives but how a family sticks together through good times and bad.
Furyborn is epic and unforgettable. I was immediately captivated by the story of two powerful young women fighting to survive in this vivid, unique fantasy world. A must-read!
As the story closely examines indoctrination, belief-systems, and violence, there will be no settling answers within these pages, only a genre-defying dish of Palahniuk-esque disturbing content with a side of chilled blood. Mind. Blown.
What a mesmerizing whirlwind of a story! I was simultaneously horrified and enchanted by the land of Cane, with all its passion and mysteries, magic and mechaniks. Claire Legrand’s writing has the grace of a ballet, but this is definitely not your grandmother’s Nutcracker tale.
Legrand crafts a fiercely unsubtle feminist fantasy that takes on the patriarchy and the toxicity of hate.
The beating heart of the story . . . is the bond between Quicksilver and Fox. . . . Those touched by the girl/wolf story in Rundell’s The Wolf Wilder will be drawn to the theme and find a similarly strange but successful mix of wit, pathos, and action here.
★ A hefty sheaf of chillers—all short enough to share aloud and expertly cast to entice unwary middle graders a step or two into the shadows.
With eight drawers–the themes tucked within the Cabinet of Curiosities–and four curators (authors), this collection of 36 goosepimply tales flows smoothly, one into the next, and will offer plenty for boys and girls to keep them up at night, around the campfire or in a tent by flashlight.
Imaginative and creepy, with a frightening villainess, this atmospherically illustrated fantasy will suck readers in.
Extasia is power, and Claire Legrand is a legend. . . . I love the rage, the sorrow, the love despite it all. I loved everything about this book, and can’t wait for readers to recoil with wide eyes from the very first pages.
Witches, saints, romance, and gore collide in this story that is part horror, part thriller and wholly feminist. Extasia is a moonlit, genre-bending novel that is truly as spellbinding and beautiful as it is grotesque. Hand this to fans of The Handmaid’s Tale & The Grace Year.
Deliciously eerie short stories lure readers down dark and winding paths from which they may never return.
★ …Add to this plot a sentient island, a centuries-old fraternal order, bone-deep feminism and coming-of-age story arcs to get Claire Legrand’s (Furyborn) remarkable Sawkill Girls. Legrand accomplishes the kind of slow-building tension and mounting horror that will give readers night terrors. Read this book, then lock it in the freezer.
★ Heart-pounding adventure, a commitment to remaining true to oneself, and deft storytelling distinguish Legrand’s epic action-fantasy.
The book’s message is a worthy one: ‘It is no small thing, to have a gentle heart.’
A Crown of Ivy and Glass features a queer, chronically ill, chronically anxious main character and a beautiful, lush world that reaches out and pulls the reader in. Like a moth to a flame, Claire’s words are deadly and beautiful, and so, so worth the pain you’ll suffer once you’ve been consumed. Lovers of high fantasy, slow burn, stinging spice, and enemies to lovers relationships will delight in this story, and come begging for more.
Set in an immersive world of elemental magic, legendary godsbeasts, and cutthroat assassins, Claire Legrand’s Furyborn is an addictive, fascinating fantasy. Truly not to be missed, this story of two fierce queens battling their way across two different eras will have you on the edge of your seat.
An eerie, atmospheric assertion of female strength.
Lush, riveting, and full of intrigue, Furyborn is a gripping read that grapples with questions of power, fate, and our abilities to change the world.
Fans of shivery tales will find much to appreciate here, from dolls who love their playmates a little too much to luck that comes at a high price.
★ A heartwarming friendship tale . . . A thoroughgoing ickfest, elevated by vulnerable but resilient young characters and capped by a righteously ominous closing twist.
The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls is weirdly charming and creepy. I loved the intrepid girl hero Victoria and her determination to save her best friend from the scariest Home ever. An enormously fun–and shivery–read.
It’s the perfect mix of blood, mystery, and high fantasy that readers of the genre crave and an amazing middle hinge for the trilogy to swing on. I am so anxiously awaiting the third book.
The mission that Thorn and Briar embark on will keep you suspended on the edge of your seat with a few surprises that will pique any reader’s interest.
★ …This tale, featuring an asexual character and a beautifully wrought queer romance, focuses on the power of female friendship and what it means to pit women against each other in fiction and in real life.
[A] masterful sequel. . . . Rich descriptions, near-constant action, and full-bodied characters keep readers riveted.
Luscious writing and magical moments.
Imagine if Wednesday Addams had written The Princess Bride and you’ve got some kind of idea of Some Kind of Happiness — a dark and meditative fantasy written with Claire Legrand’s signature light touch.
Told in short, alternating chapters, Claire Legrand’s Furyborn is an explosive trilogy-starter. Both Rielle and Eliana are strong and complicated with abilities that surpass anything their contemporaries can imagine. They are unapologetically powerful—women who know they are extraordinary and demand to be seen as such. And while both young women radiate strength and force, they are also distinctly human. Their stories are raw, filled with raging desire–for power, for sex, for safety. … Furyborn is a fantasy of wrath and passion, of young women who nod to the rules of their society while slyly or violently knocking down whatever stands in their way. They are strength incarnate and they are coming for you, Katniss, Beatrice and Clary.
For all those who sit quietly, have a soft strength, and forge ahead to do what is right even though they are afraid, this is the story you’ve been waiting for.
The too-serene-to-be-true town of Belleville harbors some creepy secrets in Legrand’s debut, a sinister and occasionally playful tale of suspense. Legrand gives Victoria’s mission a prickly energy, and her descriptions of the sighing, heaving home—a character in itself—are the stuff of bad dreams. Watts’s b&w illustrations of spindly characters, cryptic shadows, and cramped corridors amplify the unsettling ambiance, and her roach motif may have readers checking their arms.
Reader, hang on for dear life. SAWKILL GIRLS is a wild, gorgeous, and rich coming-of-age story about complicity, female camaraderie, and power.
The peril always seems real, evoked fully as the author switches from Thorn’s to Brier’s to Celestyna’s to the Gulgot’s internal thoughts. . . . [An] edgy, intricate fantasy.
The combination of the Stepford-like town and the atmospheric home provide a deliciously creepy backdrop to this precise blend of dark humor and genuine horror. . . . Victoria is . . . oddly endearing, and readers with their own color-coordinated planners will thrill to see her leadership skills and sheer determination save the day.
This is a story that’s equally heartwarming and heartbreaking (though the kind of heartbreak that pushes you to keep fighting), the sum of its parts undeniably magical.
The stories are remarkable both for their uniformly high quality and for their distinctness from one another; the abundant atmospherics, including occasional stark black-and-white illustrations, provide a unifying sense of dread. The framing device—the curators send letters from the field introducing their latest discoveries—adds depths of mystery, danger, and idiosyncrasy to a book already swimming in each.
Full of creepy, gory horror and a well-developed scheme of magic, Extasia is a feminist thriller that lets the reader see what it could be like to become fully, finally, awake.
★ A quiet magic is at work in Legrand’s novel, in which she adeptly interweaves Fin’s imaginative writing with the real-life narrative, underpinning all with an appeal to honesty and self-acceptance. This beautiful and reflective tale carries echoes of Katherine Patterson’s The Bridge to Terabithia (1977) and will resonate with thoughtful readers who enjoy pondering life’s bigger questions.
Insidiously creepy, searingly sinister, and spine-tinglingly fun, this book also presents a powerful message about friendship and the value of individuality.
My goodness, the devastation that this book will wreak upon readers is intense. The Empirium trilogy has been such a marvellous work of fiction and I’ve followed the story of Rielle and Eliana from the moment I laid eyes on Furyborn. The worldbuilding in this trilogy is stunning, and the character development too.
Beautiful, brutal, heart-stopping, and epic, Furyborn is a world to lose yourself in—just bring weapons. It’s dangerous there.
Furyborn by Claire Legrand is the epic start to a YA fantasy trilogy focused on two very different and fascinating young women, a delicious villain, non-stop action, and heart-pounding romance. A fantastic read!
Legrand . . . has created a horror-tinged tale of triumph over loss and the destructive nature of hopelessness, that is full of well-rounded characters, a spooky gothic mood, and eerie glimpses into the past lives of the ghosts.
Not for the faint of heart, this curious collection of stories will haunt and, at times, horrify and are best read by flashlight.
Legrand brings her trilogy to a triumphant but bittersweet ending, effortlessly weaving together complicated plot strands and giving further nuance to already complex characters…
Furyborn was incredible, Kingsbane is better! The second novel has even more magic, cliffhangers, and romance… Already excited for the next one in this trilogy. This is a wild ride.
Snappy dialogue and creative fantasy elements–bloodthirsty unicorns, a dragon who collects teapots and is scared of ghosts–will delight seasoned fantasy readers, while the power of friendship between Girl and Fox gives the story depth.
★ Through this dank, atmospheric, and genuinely frightening narrative, Legrand weaves powerful threads about the dangerous journey of growing up female…an intensely character-driven story about girls who support each other, girls who betray each other, and girls who love each other in many complicated ways. Strange, eerie, and unforgettable.
★ Legrand’s lush and pensive prose matches the murky, dangerous, and beautiful island setting…. Rich and earthy horror.
A steamy romance and devious twists along the way pack surprises. … The rigid, cliffhanger-heavy chapter structure is supported by breakneck pacing and constant action. … High stakes, epic scope, intense action, and sweeping mythologies.
Old-school horror meets fresh, female-forward fury. Claire Legrand masterfully paints this island world of terror with a blood-soaked brush.
Above and beyond my expectations!
A bounty of lust, gore, and moral dilemmas, [Winterspell] is sure to please fans of dark fairy tales.
A spell-binding successor to Furyborn…setting up the series for a truly captivating and heart-racing ending.
Legrand has pulled off a difficult trick in this novel. She’s constructed a story-within-a-story fairy tale that’s utterly compelling but sounds as though it was written by an 11-year-old girl. . . . A layered, thoughtful exploration.
The story of The Nutcracker receives a sinister steampunk twist in an engrossing retelling. Legrand’s story is rich in fantastical realism…
★ This is cinematically, gorgeously creepy and horrific, sliding between breathlessly suspenseful and disturbingly grotesque. …A wholly and frighteningly unique tale.
This massive novel packs a punch. The characters are passionate and well defined. The worldbuilding is immense, colorful, exciting, and unique. The villains are horrible. The author saves a final twist for the last few pages that throws everything into line and will leave readers thirsting for the next book.
Words can’t describe how I loved A Crown of Ivy and Glass! I had been for something that scratched the fantasy romance itch that was a bit more mature than the normal YA. . . . I was absolutely riveted. The chronic pain representation along with female friendships was a balm to my lonely soul and I cannot wait for the next volume!
Legrand has created magic on every page. Flawed, smart, and fierce heroines kept me dazzled and breathless. Furyborn is explosive and stunning.
Legrand successfully brings a supernatural gruesomeness to her exploration of morality and agency.
As in The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls (2012), Legrand shows twin knacks for creating creepy supernatural elements and thoroughly scary experiences for her central characters.
In this sweetly snarky, poignant tale of the supernatural, the terrors come less from the afterlife than from this one–losing loved ones, losing your home, losing your job.
Finley’s marvelous adventure will resonate with anyone who has battled a broken heart through the power of story. The courage she finds along the way will leave you cheering – and believing in magic – even in the darkest part of the woods.
. . a terrifying tale laced with chilling secrets and stunning revelations.
[Quicksilver’s] gradual growth over the course of the novel is a powerful triumph. Quicksilver will resonate strongly with any reader who has ever reacted to fear by building emotional walls. Verdict: A fine purchase. Recommend to fantasy readers, especially fans of Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy.
Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale meets M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village in Extasia, a sinister story of unchecked religious extremism in a post-apocalyptic world. This book gave me chills on every page. I could not put it down!
Claire [Legrand’s] fantastically spooky The Year of Shadows will keep you turning its pages well into the night, even though the floorboards are creaking and funny shapes lurk in the corner of your eye. Such is the allure of tempestuous, terrific Olivia, the complex and utterly real heroine who is suffering from one misfortune and indignity too many–and that’s before the ghosts arrive. Though we soon see that sometimes ghosts are the least of the things that haunt us, the book assures us that with spirit and hope we can create light in the most shadowy of places. Also, like all the best books, it has a really great cat.
A mixture of The Wilder Girls and The Grace Year, Extasia explodes off the page and grabs you by the throat. I couldn’t have stopped reading this book if I tried.
Strikingly vivid prose… the nearly five hundred pages race by in stunning fashion. This is a must-have for fans of Marchetta’s Lumatere Chronicles (Finnikin of the Rock), or Cashore’s Graceling.
The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Craft in this feminist standalone from Legrand (the Empirium trilogy), a fusion of horror and queer romantic fantasy that advocates unity, self-empowerment, and societal change.
With prose as fierce and uncompromising as its three main characters, Sawkill Girls is a fresh and unflinching exploration of female friendship wrapped in a spine-tingling page-turner. Claire Legrand doesn’t hold back–and you won’t be able to put this book down.
A series to watch.
Claire Legrand’s Furyborn is as complex as the angels it depicts—captivating and lovely, volatile and deadly. The contrast of elegant, stately court politics with gritty, blood-soaked war is balanced perfectly alongside shifting timelines, blurred prophecies, and a sprawling cast of characters, each more alluring than the last. Furyborn is a sexy, luscious shiver of a book.
Legrand fills her story with magic, danger, and suspense, and places two fiery female protagonists at its helm. . . . Give to readers looking to go on a fantastical journey.
I tried to stop reading Furyborn and go to bed… then I got up and kept going. Epic in scope, endless in imagination, this book will grab hold of you and refuse to let go.
I hope everyone is ready to cry a bucket of tears over this victorious and vengeful sequel… Legrand’s writing has never been so fierce and frenetic, and Kingsbanemoves at a breakneck pace that left me breathless. I wanted to stay in this world forever and I’ll be heartbroken when the trilogy ends.
Legrand’s adult debut is the kind of lushly magical romance we need in a world of thorns and ghosts, real and imagined. As someone who also suffers from mental illness and chronic pain, I’ve never felt so seen as through the heroine Gemma, and I felt her journey so deeply. Legrand also does a fantastic job with her setting, a magical Regency-esque period with the whimsy of beautiful ballgowns and clandestine meetings balanced by the inherent darkness of the power of magic. I truly adored this book and hope for so much more in this world.
A rousing conclusion to a series studded with unforgettable heroes and villains.
An utter triumph I can’t wait to see on shelves across the globe.
The explosive finale…doesn’t disappoint; it’s every bit as gut-wrenching as its predecessors and even more cathartic.
Claire Legrand’s tour de force delivers a magical misfit heroine and a heart-stealing dog in a riveting cosmic conflict, with much devastating loss and joyous triumph along the way. Foxheart brings a lot of positive messages as its imaginative plot unfurls, and raises a lot of relatable themes, from fledgling friendship gone wrong to abandonment issues. Legrand packs rich characterization, world-building, and exploration into her imaginative, fast-moving story. Many readers will want to bring along a box of tissues for the journey.
From the opening pages, Claire Legrand’s Furyborn plunges the reader into a captivatingly imaginative world filled with intrigue and deception. Beauty wars with violence as the stories of these two fierce women intertwine with stunning results. Furyborn will leave you breathless and aching for more.
Part spine-chilling horror story and part coming-of-age lesbian romance… If you are looking for something to scare you awake at night, this is the book for you.
Depression and anxiety are usually reserved for YA fare, so it’s refreshing to see those matters brought to younger readers and especially to those kids struggling to voice emotions they don’t yet understand. Legrand handles the topic with sensitivity and compassion.
Best-selling YA author Legrand’s first novel for adults is full of high stakes for her characters and detailed fantasy worldbuilding with interesting mythology for readers.
Legrand’s epic feminist fantasy is scary, sexy, and intense, set in a world made rich with magic, history, and a gorgeously imagined literary tradition.
Immersive and intricate, FURYBORN is a kick-you-in-the-teeth and grab-you-by-the-heart tale of two queens.
Legrand’s lush and uniquely evocative prose keeps tensions high throughout Amity’s struggle with her magic, fury, and conscience.
In an epic that spans a millennium, Legrand serves up a veritable feast of magic: mystical beings, ruthless power struggles, and gorgeously cinematic writing that will sweep you off your feet.