We are so excited to bring you the gorgeous cover of Blood Scion by Deborah Falaye. First a Q&A with Deborah Falaye herself!
What inspired your upcoming novel?
Blood Scion began as a celebration of my Yoruba culture. Growing up in Nigeria, I was constantly surrounded by traditions and folklore—from the Yoruba language I woke up to every morning, to the Orisha stories my grandmother told at night. So naturally, when I started writing Blood Scion in 2012, I knew immediately I wanted to ground it in that same history and mythology. I asked myself what would happen if a young girl was forced to grow up with little knowledge of her culture except for this magic she inherited from the gods? How would that shape her identity? These sparked the first idea for Blood Scion, but it wasn’t until 2014 that the story became fully formed.
At the time, 276 young girls were abducted from a school in Chibok, Nigeria, which began the global hashtag campaign known as #BringBackOurGirls. Even with so many of them still missing, I was devastated to learn about the horrors endured by the girls who had survived. The ones who were forced to become child soldiers, child brides. Girls whose innocence had been brutally stolen from them. The more I read about child soldiers and the war on children in particular, the harder it became to get these stories out of my head. So I channeled all that frustration and heartbreak into this book. I married both ideas of the erasure of a culture and the dehumanization of children together, and Blood Scion pretty much evolved from there.
Describe the cover and how it relates to the story. Tell us all about it! How did you feel when you saw it for the first time?
First off, can I just say I’m absolutely obsessed with Blood Scion’s cover. I’ve had it sitting in my inbox since last year and every day, I return to that email just to stare at it. I think it’s beyond perfect. The cover process was a dream come true. I was very lucky in that my lovely editor kept me in the loop right from the start, so I was able to give my opinion on what I wanted. We agreed on this really striking concept image of a female warrior that we saw from the amazing artist, Taj Francis, and we ran with it. Still, I wasn’t prepared to be blessed with this amount of Black Girl Magic on the final cover, but I’m certainly grateful to Taj and the entire design team at Harper for it.
When I look at Blood Scion’s cover, I think of power, raw power, the kind that destroys and rebuilds. I love that Sloane, my main character, is illustrated in such a way that shows her vulnerability and fierceness. Her journey is really one of anger and rage and pain and fear. She is a fifteen-year-old walking inferno on a mission to reclaim all that has been stolen from her. She’s such a powerful force in the story, and I think the cover perfectly captures that.
What can readers expect from the story?
The world of Blood Scion is so painfully brutal, and as a reader, you’re immediately taken on a journey with characters learning how to survive in this broken world. So I will say you can definitely expect the unexpected. There’s a running theme in the story, which is, how far are you willing to go, and exactly how much are you willing to sacrifice to get what you want? You’ll see characters making right and wrong decisions, and the terrible consequences they suffer for those actions. Basically, it’s just a high-stakes, roller coaster of emotions from start to finish.
With Blood Scion, it was also very important for me to balance the pain with some hope and humor, and I got to do that with the female friendships in this book. The relationships between the characters were certainly some of my favorite parts. And of course, there’s the romance. I really had the best time writing one of my favorite romance tropes into the story.
About Blood Scion:
They wanted me to be a monster.
I will be the worst monster they ever created.
Fifteen-year-old Sloane can incinerate an enemy at will—she is a Scion, a descendant of the ancient Orisha gods.
Under the Lucis’ brutal rule, her identity means her death if her powers are discovered. But when she is forcibly conscripted into the Lucis army on her fifteenth birthday, Sloane sees a new opportunity: overcome the bloody challenges of the Lucis training, and destroy them from within.
Sloane rises through the ranks and gains strength, but in doing so, risks something greater: losing herself entirely, and becoming the very monster that she abhors.
Following one girl’s journey of magic, injustice, power, and revenge, this deeply felt and emotionally charged debut from Deborah Falaye, inspired by Yoruba-Nigerian mythology, is a magnetic combination of Children of Blood and Bone and An Ember in the Ashes that will utterly thrill and capture readers.
About the Author:
Deborah Falaye is a Nigerian-Canadian young adult author. She grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, where she spent her time devouring African literature, pestering her grandma for folktales, and tricking her grandfather into watching Passions every night. When she’s not writing about fierce Black girls with badass magic, she can be found obsessing over all things reality tv. Deborah currently lives in Toronto with her husband and their partner-in-crime yorkie, Major. Blood Scion is her first novel.