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The Unwilling: A Novel

Par / By Kelly Braffet

#1 The Barrier Lands


[FR] Un récit pénétrant sur la magie, la foi et la fierté…


[EN] A penetrating tale of magic, faith and pride…





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Judah est une orpheline dotée d’un don secret, née aux portes du château de Highfall. Élevée aux côtés de Gavin, héritier de l’empire de Lord Elban, tous deux partagent un lien extrasensoriel qui est la clé de la survie de Judah et de sa possible perte.

Elban, aussi puissant que cruel, a l’intention d’utiliser Judah comme un pion pour accroître son contrôle. Il ne reculera devant rien pour obtenir ce qu’il veut.

Mais au-delà des murs du château, un mage, un guérisseur doté de sa propre force, est arrivé des provinces. Lui aussi a des visées sur le royaume, et au cœur de ses plans se trouve Judah… La jeune fille qui a commencé sa vie sans nom et sans histoire va bientôt découvrir sa propre force. Curieusement, elle n’a pas besoin qu’on lui donne le pouvoir : elle peut simplement le prendre.


Judah is an orphaned girl with a secret gift, born at the gates of Highfall castle. Raised alongside Gavin, heir to Lord Elban’s empire, the two share an extrasensory bond—one that is key to Judah’s survival and her possible undoing.

Elban—as mighty as he is cruel—plans to use Judah as a pawn to amass greater control. He will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

But beyond the castle walls, a magus, a healer with his own powerful force, has arrived from the provinces. He, too, has designs on the realm, and at the heart of his plans lies Judah… The girl who started life with no name and no history will soon discover her own strength. Intriguingly, she does not have to be given power: she can just take it.

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Auteur.rice / Author

Kelly Braffet est l’auteur des romans Save Yourself, Josie and Jack et Last Seen Leaving. Ses écrits ont été publiés dans le New York Times et Vulture.com, ainsi que dans The Fairy Tale Review, Post Road et plusieurs anthologies. Elle a étudié au Sarah Lawrence College et à l’université de Columbia et vit actuellement dans le nord de l’État de New York.


Kelly Braffet is the author of the novels Save Yourself, Josie and Jack and Last Seen Leaving. Her writing has been published in the New York Times and Vulture.com, as well as The Fairy Tale Review, Post Road, and several anthologies. She attended Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University and currently lives in upstate New York.


“This idea of two people being able to feel each other’s sensations—both physically and emotionally—is brilliantly executed. The Unwilling is about sharing joy, and sensing fear and cruelty, and caring beyond ourselves. Kelly Braffet managed to make an adventure story about empathy.”–Vanity Fair

“Kelly Braffet is extraordinary… Familiar yet entirely unique, The Unwilling is the sort of story that seeps under your skin and pulses there, intimate and vibrant and alive. Fantasy at its most sublime.”–Erin Morgenstern, NYT bestselling author of The Starless Sea and The Night Circus

“Suspenseful, magical, wonderfully written, and never predictable, Braffet’s first foray into speculative fiction is an essential addition to all epic-fantasy collections.” –Booklist, STARRED Review

“Drips with atmosphere and intrigue… Braffet’s tale is a study in suffering and cruelty but also in determination… Readers who enjoy complex characters will find much to savor here.” –Publishers Weekly

“Braffet has a real gift for dialogue, and Judah’s quick cleverness is a constant joy… Readers will fall in love with the contemplative pace, brisk dialogue and rebellious heroine of The Unwilling.” –Bookpage

“A juggernaut of an epic fantasy novel with ingenious, thrilling twists and turns. Put this on the shelf beside Naomi Novik and George R. R. Martin. Kelly Braffet is a marvel and I’ll read anything she writes.”–Kelly Link, MacArthur Genius Recipient, award-winning author of Get in Trouble

“Kelly Braffet’s The Unwilling is a viscerally powerful book. Full of complex and compelling characters, this is the story of the corruptions of power and the strength it takes to resist. This is an incredible, brilliant story.”–Kat Howard, author of Roses and Rot

“Gorgeously told, The Unwilling is at once a sweeping epic and an intimate portrait of being trapped in an oppressive regime. Meet your new favorite fantasy writer.”– Gwenda Bond, NYT bestselling author of Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds

“Wow…The characters, the world, the magic and greed and politics and pain–all of it adds up to something wonderful. I love it.” –Ellen Datlow, award-winning editor and anthologist


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