A woman able to communicate with spirits must assemble a ragtag crew to pull off a daring heist to save her community in this timely and dazzling historical fantasy that weaves together African American folk magic, history, and romance.
"Never make a deal with shadows at night, especially ones that know your name.”
Washington D. C., 1925: Clara Johnson can talk to spirits—a gift that saved her during her darkest moments, now a curse that’s left her indebted to the cunning spirit world. So when a powerful spirit offers her an opportunity to gain her freedom, Clara seizes the chance, no questions asked. The task: steal a magical ring from the wealthiest woman in the District.
Clara can’t pull off this daring heist alone. She’ll need the help of an unlikely team, from a handsome jazz musician able to hypnotize with a melody to an aging actor who can change his face, to pull off the impossible. But as they race along DC’s legendary Black Broadway, conflict in the spirit world begins to leak into the human one—an insidious mystery is unfolding, one that could cost Clara her life and change the fate of an entire city.
Praise for The Monsters We Defy:
"Set in an enchanting 1920s Washington DC full of mesmerizing magic, The Monsters We Defy weaves together threads of real history with bits of the utterly fantastic." ―P. Djèli Clark, author of A Master of Djinn
"Masterfully crafted, with gorgeous prose, colourful characters, and a compelling plot. This smart and entertaining, magical heist novel hits all the right notes!" ―T.L. Huchu, author of The Library of the Dead
"Leslye Penelope blends magic, mystery, and mayhem in this deliciously complex historical fantasy.” —Veronica Henry, author of Bacchanal