A DAY OF FALLEN NIGHT by Samantha Shannon (AUDIOBOOK ANNOUNCEMENT AND EXCERPT)
Today, we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to share Bloomsbury’s recent cast announcement for Samantha Shannon’s highly anticipated prequel to The Priory of the Orange Tree, A Day of Fallen Night. We also have an excerpt for you as an extra treat!
Released on 28th February, A Day of Fallen Night is set five hundred years before the events of The Priory of the Orange Tree, following four very different women who must find the strength to protect humankind from a devastating threat when the Dreadmount erupts, unleashing dragons upon their world and ushering in an age of terror and violence.
The audiobook cast includes Ellie Kendrick (Game of Thrones), two-time Laurence Olivier Award winner Sheila Atim (The Woman King, The Underground Railroad), Thoren Ferguson (Vigil, The Spanish Princess), and Hanako Footman (The Crown, Defending The Guilty).
L-R: Ellie Kendrick, Sheila Atim, Thoren Ferguson, Hanako Footman (credit: Chris Dwyer)
Ellie Kendrick said: ‘It was a real pleasure to read this book and give voice to Glorian’s part of the story. The tale brings a fresh queer perspective to the fantasy genre, moving through lush worlds created with immense imagination, populated with complex and intricately connected characters – I was totally pulled in. And I hope listeners will be, too!’
Samantha Shannon said of the cast of A Day of Fallen Night: ‘I could never have imagined that A Day of Fallen Night would have such a talented cast of narrators. I’m very grateful to Ellie, Hanako, Sheila and Thoren for their dedication in working so hard on such a long book, and to Tom Skipp and the audio team for bringing them all together.’
A Day of Fallen Night is available to pre-order in all formats now: BLOOMSBURY
Samantha Shannon will be touring bookshops across the UK and US in February and March to mark the publication of A Day of Fallen Night, and will be appearing at Supanova festival in Australia in April.
About Samantha Shannon:
Samantha Shannon is the New York Times and Sunday Times-bestselling author of The Bone Season series. Her work has been translated into twenty-six languages. Her fourth novel, The Priory of the Orange Tree, was her first outside of The Bone Season series and was an international bestseller. She lives in London. samanthashannon.co.uk | @say_shannon
Excerpt from Chapter Three of A Day of Fallen Night
‘Siyu, get down from there!’
The orange tree sighed in the breeze. Its gnarled trunk was always warm to the touch, as if there was sunlight trapped in its sapwood. Every leaf was polished and fragrant, and even deep in autumn, it bore fruit.
Not once, for however long it had stood here – since the dawn of time, perhaps – had anyone defiled its branches. Now a young woman crouched among them, barefoot and out of reach.
‘Tuva,’ she called down, her voice spiced with laughter, ‘it’s wonderful. I swear I could see all the way to Yikala!’
Tunuva stared up in dismay. Siyu had always been headstrong, but this could not be dismissed as youthful folly. This was sacrilege. The Prioress would be outraged when she heard.
‘What is it, Tunuva?’ Imsurin came to stand beside her, following her line of sight. ‘Mother save us,’ he said under his breath. He glanced back down at her. ‘Where is Esbar?’
She barely heard him, for Siyu was climbing again. With a last flash of sole, she ventured into the higher branches, and Tunuva started forward, a strangled sound escaping her.
‘You mustn’t—’ Imsurin began.
‘How do you suppose I would?’ Tunuva snapped. ‘I have no inkling of how she got up there.’ Imsurin raised his hands, and she turned back to the tree. ‘Siyu, please, enough of this!’
The only answer was a sparkling laugh. A green leaf fluttered to the ground.
By now, a small crowd had gathered in the valley: sisters, brothers, three of the ichneumons. Murmurs spiked behind Tunuva, like the hum from a nest of spindle wasps. She gazed up at the orange tree and prayed with all her might: Keep her safe, guide her to me, do not let her fall.
There was no way to conceal what had happened. A place kept secret for centuries could not afford secrets within its own walls.
‘We should find Esbar. Siyu listens to her,’ Imsurin said, with certainty. ‘And to you,’ he added, a clear afterthought. Tunuva pursed her lips. ‘You must get her down, before—’
‘She will not hear any of us now. We must wait for her to come to us.’ Tunuva pulled her shawl around her shoulders and folded her arms. ‘And it’s too late. Everyone has seen.’
By the time Siyu reappeared, the sky had flushed to apricot, and Tunuva was both rigid and atremble, like a plucked harpstring.
‘Siyu du Tunuva uq-Nāra, come down at once,’ she shouted. ‘The Prioress will hear of this!’
It was a craven thing, to invoke the Prioress. Esbar would never have been so weak. Still, her anger must have found its mark, for Siyu looked down from the branch, smile fading.
‘Coming,’ she said.
Tunuva had assumed she would come down the same way she had climbed up, whatever that had been. Instead, Siyu stood and found her balance. She was light and small, and the bough was strong, yet Tunuva watched in dread, thinking it would crack beneath her.
Not once had she feared the tree before this day. It had been guardian and giver and friend – never an enemy, never a threat. Not until Siyu ran along the bough and leapt into open air.
In unison, Tunuva and Imsurin rushed forward, as if they had any hope of catching her. Siyu plummeted with a shriek, arms wheeling, and disappeared into the crashing waters of the Minara. Tunuva cast herself down at the riverbank.
Her chest was so tight she could scarcely breathe. She flung off her shawl, and would have dived in – had Siyu not surfaced, black hair slicked across her face, and let out a laugh of pure delight. Fanning her strong arms, she kicked against the flow of water.
‘Siyu,’ Imsurin said, his voice hard and strained, ‘do not tempt Abaso’s rage.’ He reached for her. ‘Climb out, please.’
‘You always said I swam beautifully, Imin,’ came the overjoyed reply. ‘The water is bracing. Try it!’
Tunuva looked to Imsurin. Decades of knowing him, and never once had she seen fear on that raw-boned face. Now his jaw shook. When Tunuva lowered her gaze, she found her hands were quaking.
It’s all right. She’s all right.
Siyu grasped one of the roots and used it to drag herself from the river. Tunuva released her breath, the tension pulled from her at once. She wrenched Siyu into her arms and kissed her sodden hair.
‘Reckless, foolish child.’ Tunuva clasped the back of her head. ‘What were you thinking, Siyu?’
‘Do you mean to tell me no one has ever done it?’ Siyu said, breathless with exhilaration. ‘Hundreds of years with such a tree, and no one ever climbed it? I am the very first?’
‘Let us hope you are the last.’
Tunuva retrieved her shawl and draped it around Siyu. Autumns were mild in the Lasian Basin, but the River Minara stemmed from the northeastern mountains, far beyond the natural heat that warmed the land around the tree.
When they stood, Siyu nudged her, smiling. Tunuva alone saw their sisters’ flinty gazes. She curled an arm around Siyu and walked her across the cool grass of the vale, to the thousand steps that would take them to the Priory.