Today is the publication date for Anne Ursu's beautiful new novel The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy. Thank you to Walden Pond Press and HarperCollins for inviting me to be part of the blog tour and giving me the opportunity to read an advanced copy.
I am going to let you in on a little secret, dear reader. I normally have a major aversion to fantasy novels. I prefer reading books in this world because I know how to navigate it and fantasy always seems like so much work to me. We all have our biases as readers, right? However, I always make an exception to Anne Ursu's novels because I know that despite the fantasy world she has built, she is making a social commentary on the world in which we are currently living. And The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy is no different. Like Ursu's previous novels, this book deals with themes of feminism and girl power, this time with a particular focus on women and girls who have to follow along with the leadership of mediocre men (and women who want proximity to power) who gaslight them.
About the Book:If no one notices Marya Lupu, it’s likely because of her brother, Luka. And that’s because of what everyone knows: Luka is destined to become a sorcerer.
The Lupus might be from a small village far from the capital city, but that doesn’t matter. Every young boy born in Illyria may possess the rare ability to wield magic, to protect the country from the terrifying force known only as the Dread. For all the hopes the family has for Luka, no one has any for Marya, who can never seem to do anything right. But even so, no one is prepared for the day that the sorcerers finally arrive to test Luka for magical ability, and Marya makes a terrible mistake. Nor the day after, when the Lupus receive a letter from a place called Dragomir Academy — a mysterious school for wayward young girls. Girls like Marya.
Soon she is a hundred miles from home, in a strange and unfamiliar place, surrounded by girls she’s never met. Dragomir Academy promises Marya and her classmates a chance to make something of themselves in service to one of the country’s powerful sorcerers. But as they learn how to fit into a world with no place for them, they begin to discover things about the magic the men of their country wield, as well as the Dread itself — things that threaten the precarious balance upon which their country is built.
About the Author:Anne Ursu is the author of the acclaimed novels The Lost Girl, Breadcrumbs, and The Real Boy, which was longlisted for the National Book Award. The recipient of a McKnight Fellowship Award in Children’s Literature, Anne is also a member of the faculty at Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She lives in Minneapolis with her family and an ever-growing number of cats. You can visit her online at www.anneursu.com.
PRAISE FOR THE TROUBLED GIRLS OF DRAGOMIR ACADEMY
“A wonderful and inspiring feminist fantasy.” – Kirkus
"An accessible, timely school story with a rather Transylvanian flavor to its fantasy setting. Ursu explores girls’ conditioning in timidity and shame in a male-dominated world and, ultimately, envisions a hopeful, female-determined future of magical ability." - Horn Book Magazine
“A suspenseful tale woven with secrets and magic, with a gasp-worthy twist at the end, The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy is everything I love about fantasy. Spell-binding.” - Christina Soontornvat, Newbery Honor-winning author of A Wish in the Dark
“Anne Ursu practices her own brand of sorcery—the ability to craft wondrous, magical stories that are unlike anything you’ve ever read. Another extraordinary tale from a remarkably talented author.” - Erin Entrada Kelly, Newbery Medal-winning author of Hello, Universe
"A thoughtful and incisive story of lies told to control people and the complicated girls who ask questions, push back, and keep fighting." - Tui Sutherland, New York Times-bestselling author of the Wings of Fire series
“It’s no secret that Anne Ursu is a gifted storyteller. The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy is intricately plotted and compulsively readable, with characters who will stay with you long after you stop reading. I could not put it down.” - Aisha Saeed, New York Times bestselling author of Amal Unbound
"The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy manages the particular magic of being both a true fantasy novel and a clear-eyed reflection of the here-and-now. Bighearted, generous, and outstandingly original, this is a story only Anne Ursu could write."- Elana K. Arnold, award-winning author of The House That Wasn't There
Here are two upcoming virtual author events with Anne Ursu:
Tuesday October 13, 2021 at 7 pm CT Anne will launch her book in a virtual conversation with Laura Ruby, hosted by the RED BALLOON BOOKSHOP in St. Paul Minnesota.Click here for more information. We hope you will join us!
BLOG TOUR STOPS
October 12 A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust
October 13 Read Wonder
October 14 Nerdy Book Club
October 15 A Library Mama
October 16 Maria’s Mélange
October 17 By Singing Light
October 18 Bluestocking Thinking
October 20 Insatiable Readers