Discover a world of extraordinary beasts and unexpected heroes in the dazzling debut from New York Times bestselling author Kiyash Monsef. Perfect for readers aged 9+ and fans of Philip Pullman, Neil Gaiman, J.K. Rowling and A.F. Steadman.
Once was, once wasn’t . . .
So began the stories Marjan’s father told her as a little girl – tales of mythical beasts that filled her with curiosity and wonder: Griffons. Unicorns. Dragons.
But Marjan is not a little girl anymore. After her father’s sudden death, she is trying to hold it all together: her schoolwork, her friendships and her dad’s struggling veterinary practice. But a mysterious visitor soon reveals that Marjan’s father was no ordinary vet. The creatures from his stories are real – and he travelled the world to care for them.
Stepping into a secret world hidden in plain sight, where magical creatures are bought and sold, treasured and trapped, Marjan must take her father’s place. The deeper in she gets, the closer she comes to a shocking truth that will put both humans and beasts in terrible danger.
Kiyash Monsef is an Emmy Award–nominated producer and director; a writer of short stories, videos, comic books, and games; and a designer of innovative conversational and voice interface experiences. He’s the author of Once There Was.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's UK (April 4, 2023)
Get our latest book recommendations, author news, and competitions right to your inbox.