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Mia and the Lightcasters

Written by Janelle McCurdy

Illustrated by Ana Latese

Part of the The Umbra Tales Series

Key Stage 2 Adventure Stories Fantasy / Magical

LoveReading View on Mia and the Lightcasters

A gripping, action-packed fantasy adventure set in a fascinating world of darkness and light (the best of Pokémon in a book)

August 2022 Debut of the Month

Readers who like their heroes brave, resourceful and caring, magical and with a skill in martial arts are going to love twelve-year-old Mia, star of Janelle McCurdy’s gripping new fantasy adventure Mia and the Lightcasters.

Mia lives with her parents and little brother Lucas in the city of Nubis. Most towns in their kingdom are dark, plunged into night years ago by the powerful and evil Reaper King. When his forces arrive in Nubis and take the population prisoner, including her own parents, it’s up to Mia and her friends TJ and Jada to rescue them. In this she’ll need help from the umbra.

Umbra are mysterious, magical creatures, which take different forms but bond with a particular human. Following a terrifying incident when she was much younger, Mia is going to need to dig deep into her resources of courage to discover her own umbra taming abilities.

Like the best fantasy (and the best video games, McCurdy is a big fan), this fast-paced adventure allows readers to escape into a totally different world, one full of danger and excitement, and provides a chance to imagine themselves in situations that bring out the very best in people.

This is book one in a series that is sure to be really popular.

Andrea Reece

More About This Book

A message from the author, Janelle McCurdy;  The Umbra Tales trilogy was born from my love of gaming, anime and fantasy books. Growing up, I hardly saw any fantasy with Black girls and boys front and centre. Mia and the Lightcasters is a nod to all the anime, manga, fantasy books and games I loved both now and as a child. It's a book about finding your inner strength, friendships and hope. I want kids to know that they are enough, they're resilient and stronger than they think. I want them to get lost in this world and let their imaginations run wild. I can't wait to share this story.

Mia and the Lightcasters Synopsis

The biggest middle grade fantasy debut of 2022. Beware of the shadows, the Reaper King is coming . . .

Mia always dreamed of being an umbra tamer until she met the wild creature on the Nightmare Plains. Since that day, she prefers to stay safe within the walls of Nubis. Safe, that is, until a surprise attack. With her parents captured, Mia's only hope is to travel to the City of Light to find help. But with only her little brother, two friends and one solitary tamed umbra, the journey feels impossible. Mia not only has to overcome her fears, she also has to learn to harness her umbra taming abilities if they are to complete the quest in time.

For fans of Amari and the Night Brothers, The Legend of Podkin One-Ear and Nevermoor, this is the first in the sensational Umbra Tales series, illustrated by Ana Latese.

Mia and the Lightcasters Press Reviews

'This book has everything I love: cinematic world-building, a page-turning adventure, pulse-pounding action scenes and characters so vivid I miss them already.' A. F. Steadman, author of Skandar and the Unicorn Thief

'Thrilling . . . a wonderful adventure.' L. D. Lapinski, author of The Strangeworlds Travel Agency

'A fresh, wild, gripping adventure.' Kieran Larwood, author of The Legend of Podkin One-Ear

'A thrilling, highly imaginative and action-packed fantasy.' Louie Stowell, author of Otherland and Loki

'I absolutely loved it.' Tola Okogwu, author of Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun

'A deliciously dark and magical world that video game fanatics will devour.' Aisha Bushby, author of A Flash of Fireflies

Book Information

ISBN: 9780571368433
Publication date: 4th August 2022
Author: Janelle McCurdy
Illustrator: Ana Latese
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 416 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 2
Topics: Adventure Stories, Fantasy / Magical

About Janelle McCurdy

Janelle is an author and fully-fledged gamer. Having started writing and querying at only sixteen years-old, she joined JULA in her early twenties. After graduating from Royal Holloway University with a Criminology and Sociology degree, Janelle moved back home to London, and began writing middle grade fantasy. In her free time, you can find her holed up in her room, gaming and watching anime (some of her favourites being Inuyasha, Dragon Ball Z and Death Note), or attending numerous comic cons and gaming events. Janelle says 'The Umbra Tales trilogy was born from my love of gaming, anime and fantasy ...

More About Janelle McCurdy

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