This Dark Descent

Kalyn Josephson

Age 14 +
28 September 2023
416 pages


Enter the corrupt world of Veradell, where warring monarchs vie for a kingdom full of forbidden magic, illicit romance and cut-throat horse racing. Steeped in Jewish folklore, this fast-paced YA fantasy by Kalyn Josephson is perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows.

Mikira Rusel is out of options. With her father imprisoned and facing rising debts, there’s only one way to save her family from ruin: enter the Illinir, a high-stakes, cross-country horse race known for its high death toll as much as its flashy prize money.

To have any chance of success she’ll have to recruit Ari, an unlicensed enchanter, Damien, a lord in the midst of a succession battle, and Reid; the brooding horse trainer who will be the key to Mikira’s survival.

All her accomplices have reasons of their own to help Mikira - and their own blood feuds to avenge. And as alliances deepen and romances form, Mikira will have to discover where everyone’s true loyalties lie.

In a world as dangerous as this, remember to keep your enemies close and your friends closer . . .

This Dark Descent by Kalyn Josephson features gorgeous full colour character artwork printed on the inside cover.

This Dark Descent runs a breathless and delightfully twisting course full of danger and heartbreak, machinations and magic. I loved it and I can’t wait for more!
A riveting, clever Jewish fantasy that had me racing through the pages. With dangerous magic, high-stakes political intrigue, and a stunning cast of characters (and animal companions!), This Dark Descent is sure to leave readers begging for the sequel.
Kalyn Josephson has crafted a rich world and a tightly-plotted story that kept me reading well into the night. Anchored by the emotional nuance of the two leads, this tale of horse-racing, magic, and power is not to be missed.