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Cover Reveal: THESE DEADLY PROPHECIES by Andrea Tang

Cover reveal! Get ready for a twisty, magic-infused murder mystery perfect for fans of Knives Out and The Inheritance Games. In These Deadly Prophecies, a teenage sorcerer’s apprentice must solve her boss’s murder in order to prove her innocence.

Being an apprentice for one of the world’s most famous sorcerers has its challenges; Tabatha Zeng just didn’t think they would include solving crime. But when her boss, the infamous fortuneteller Sorcerer Solomon, predicts his own brutal death—and worse, it comes true—Tabatha finds herself caught in the crosshairs.

The police have their sights set on her and Callum Solomon, her murdered boss’s youngest son. With suspicion swirling around them, the two decide to team up to find the real killer and clear their own names once and for all.

But solving a murder isn’t as easy as it seems, especially when the suspect list is mostly the rich, connected, and magical members of Sorcerer Solomon’s family. And Tabatha can’t quite escape the nagging voice in her head asking: just how much can she really trust Callum Solomon?

Nothing is as it seems in this quick-witted and fantastical murder mystery.

Scroll down to read a sneak peek, and remember to preorder your copy here.

Cover art by Katt Phatt, cover design by Theresa Evangelista

I won’t lie: an apprenticeship to the most notorious fortune teller on the East Coast of the United States is an extremely weird after-school gig. There are many things, good and bad, that can be said of sorcery as both discipline and profession, but the one that most folks agree on is that your average sorcerer leads a thoroughly beyond-average life. That was why I wanted to be a sorcerer in the first place.

The thing is, no sorcerer can spin real prophecies without learning to tell a true fortune from the bullshit. Sorcerer Solomon taught me this lesson by lying to me on a weekly basis. And I really do mean weekly. I had it written down in my planner and everything.

More specifically, he lied to me about the future. It was half game, half training exercise—teaching me to see the truths among his lies. It’s common enough among fortune-telling aspirants. Unlike the other branches of sorcery, fortune telling has no sigils, no incantations to work our magic. We have only our minds. When we play the liars’ game, and guess at which future is true, all we can do is listen to a liar’s voice, empty our minds, and trust our training to show us the truth.

The Sunday where this story begins seemed the same as all the others. Eight o’clock at night, in his private parlor, just left of the sorcerer’s workshop on the fourth floor of the manor. It was a cozy little space, all dramatic velvet drapes and plush cushions tucked around a great roaring fireplace. Sorcerer Solomon fit in perfectly with all that furniture, perched in his favorite armchair, blue eyes twinkling in the glow of the flames. I never actually saw him cast the kinetics to summon fire, but every time I arrived at the parlor, the fire was there, roaring bright where only darkness had lurked a moment before.

“Well, Tabatha,” he said as I sat down, his voice crisp, his fingers steepled. “Shall I lie to you?”

And he did, a litany of predictions about kitchen appliances and teen romances, exam results and bus schedules. And I got them right, every time.

Finally, he came to the end of the list, and I knew what would come next. His favorite lie went like this: “Tabatha,” he said, once he finished with his other lies, “Tabatha, here’s a prophecy for you: I will die at the hands of my best beloved. So shall it be.”

He changed the time stamp on it every time, to keep things interesting. Sometimes, his best beloved would kill him fifty years from now. Sometimes, his best beloved, apparently too impatient to wait half a century, would simply off him tomorrow. It really depended on the old man’s mood, but he told the same lie every time: his own murder, at the hands of the person he loved most in all the world.

“Right,” I said that Sunday night, unfazed and grinning. “And when will the murder be happening this time?”

He grinned back. “Seven months from now. So shall it be.”

I opened my mouth, brimming with confidence, ready to call his bluff as ever. The intention died in my throat. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced how it feels, as a sorcerer, to spin a true prophecy. It’s as though time itself slows down for your sake. Everything swimming around inside your head sharpens. And then it begins to unfold, right there across your mind’s eye: the shape the future is going to take. The story of something, great or small, that has not yet come to pass.

When another sorcerer spins a prophecy, you can tell it’s real because you see that fortune the same way they do, like a secret whispered in your ear, the truth of it weighing down your bones with every word the sorcerer speaks.

I straightened my spine. “Lie,” I pronounced. Even then, the word tasted like dust inside my mouth.

Sorcerer Solomon shook his head. The smile finally dimmed a little. “I’m afraid the only lie between us right now is the one you’re telling yourself.”

Penguin Teen