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Author Spotlight

Ayana Gray shares 4 surprises in BEASTS OF RUIN

Hi there! My name is Ayana Gray, and I am the author of the New York Times-bestselling young adult fantasy, Beasts of Prey. The Beasts of Prey trilogy (or “BOP” as I’ve been known to call it!) follows the epic adventures of two Black teens named Koffi and Ekon as they trek into a magical jungle to hunt down a monster, but instead find much more than they bargained for, and maybe even a chance to change destiny itself. If you love mythology, magic, plot twists and sprinklings of magic, this is perfect for your TBR pile.

Book 1 in the Beasts of Prey trilogy came out last Fall, and now the time has come for book 2, Beasts of Ruin! Without giving away too many spoilers, the adventure picks up right where it left off in this latest book and is full of the same things you’ll love about book 1, while also adding fun new twists for book 2. 

Read on for 4 surprises in Beasts of Ruin!

1. Mythology

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I am obsessed with mythological animals, especially the ones that are more obscure. In Beasts of Prey, Koffi and Ekon encountered the infamous Anatsou, and had to outfox both a grootslang and an eloko. Beasts of Ruin introduces even more creatures of African lore, and these are even more vicious than their predecessors. As always, I’ve included an Author’s Note at the end of the book for those who want to learn more about their origins!

2. Location! Location! Location! 

Beasts of Prey begins its story in the ancient city of Lkossa, but a great majority of the book actually takes place in the infamous Greater Jungle that borders it. I’m very excited to be able to say that Beasts of Ruin takes both Koffi and Ekon to new parts of the continent of Eshōza! From the mysterious Mistwood, to swamplands where secrets lurk beneath the surface, our heroes are learning more about themselves and the world they thought they knew! I can’t wait for you to experience more of it right at their side! 

3. Romance

While the books of the Beasts of Prey trilogy definitely aren’t romance-forward books (and definitely more slow-burn stories), I could never write a story without sprinkling in a bit of romance on the page. In Beasts of Prey, (spoiler!) Koffi and Ekon begin to explore their feelings for each other–neither one of them has ever really had a crush before! Beasts of Ruin puts those feelings TO THE TEST in some really significant ways, and with some really significant new characters. (*waggles brows*)

4. Magic

The beastie books are stories steeped in monsters, mythos, and most importantly magic. When I set out to write Beasts of Prey, I wanted to create a magic system that in a lot of ways reflected and symbolized control of real human emotion. Koffi has been put through the ringer in Beasts of Prey, and Beasts of Ruin only pushes her further. Get ready to really see what our girl can do… and what consequences may manifest when she does…

Preorder your copy here

Penguin Teen