Caught in a war between the rebels and the invading colonizers, Jetta must make an impossible choice—save her people or protect her sanity.
The second book in Heidi Heilig’s acclaimed Shadow Players trilogy blends traditional storytelling with ephemera to weave an enthralling fantasy that fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir will sink into.
Jetta is a wanted criminal. The army wants her for treason against the crown, for the sabotage of Hell’s Court temple, and for the murder of General Legarde. They also want her for the power in her blood—the magic that captures wandering spirits to give life to puppets, to rocks, to paper . . . to weapons. They’re willing to trade the elixir that treats Jetta’s madness for the use of her blood. The rebels want her, too, to help them reclaim their country. Jetta may be the one who can tip the scales in this war.
But Jetta fears using her power will make her too much like Le Trépas, the terrifying and tyrannical necromancer who once held all Chakrana under his thumb—and who is Jetta’s biological father. She’s already raised her brother from the dead, after all. And scared off Leo, the only person who saw her as she truly is. With Le Trépas at large and a clash between the army and the rebels becoming inevitable, Jetta will have to decide if saving her country is worth sacrificing her soul.
Acclaimed author Heidi Heilig creates a rich world inspired by Southeast Asian cultures and French colonialism. Told from Jetta’s first-person point-of-view, as well as with chapters written as play scripts and ephemera such as songs, maps, and letters, A Kingdom for a Stage is a vivid, fast-paced journey that weaves magic, simmering romance, and the deep bonds of family with the high stakes of epic adventure. It will thrill fans of Stephanie Garber and Renée Ahdieh.
Heidi Heilig is the author of The Girl from Everywhere, which was an Indie Next Pick and was also named a Best Book of the Year by NPR; its sequel, The Ship Beyond Time; and the Shadow Players trilogy, For a Muse of Fire, A Kingdom for a Stage, and On This Unworthy Scaffold. Heidi Heilig holds an MFA from New York University in musical theater writing, and she’s written the book and lyrics for several shows. She grew up in Hawaii, where she rode horses and raised peacocks. Her favorite thing, outside of writing, is travel, and she has haggled for rugs in Morocco, hiked the trails of the Ko‘olau Valley, and huddled in a tent in South Africa. Heidi Heilig lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her family.
“In this gorgeously crafted world of magic, betrayal and political upheaval, Heilig weaves an enthralling narrative that also includes plays, maps and songs.” — Paste Magazine
"Heidi Heilig . . . comes up with the kind of clever premises that make other writers wring their hands in envy. . . . All of the horrors that Jetta faces are happening on a bigger, grander scale, and now it feels like the fate of an entire nation hinges on her choices." — NPR.org