SHIMMER AND BURN (Margaret K. McElderry Books, August 8, 2017)
Faris grew up fighting to survive in the slums of Brindaigel while caring for her sister, Cadence. But when Cadence is caught trying to flee the kingdom and is sold into slavery, Faris reluctantly agrees to a lucrative scheme to buy her back, inadvertently binding herself to the power-hungry Princess Bryn, who wants to steal her father’s throne.
Now Faris must smuggle stolen magic into neighboring Avinea to incite its prince to alliance—magic that addicts in the war-torn country can sense in her blood and can steal with a touch. She and Bryn turn to a handsome traveling magician, North, who offers protection from Avinea’s many dangers, but he cannot save Faris from Bryn’s cruelty as she leverages Cadence’s freedom to force Faris to do anything—or kill anyone—she asks. Yet Faris is as fierce as Bryn, and even as she finds herself falling for North, she develops schemes of her own.
With the fate of kingdoms at stake, Faris, Bryn, and North maneuver through a dangerous game of magical and political machinations, where lives can be destroyed—or saved—with only a touch.
"Taranta's debut opens the door to a magical new world filled with adventure, strong characters, and an intriguing plot." -Booklist, June 2017
"Taranta's writing is nearly poetic and casts its own sort of magic." - RT Reviews, "Top Pick," June 2017
"In a crowded fantasy field, Taranta’s story stands out for its mature writing, inventive and scary creatures (and even scarier humans), and complex and often ruthless characters." - Publishers Weekly, August 2017
"This first tale...reveres its strong female characters and does not shy from the gritty, gruesome realities of uneasy alliances. Against a sea of vastly similar offerings, Taranta’s story rises above the competition in exciting and unique ways." - VOYA, August 2017
Look for the sequel, SPLENDOR AND SPARK, coming Summer 2018!
Other projects include a YA dark fantasy featuring grave-robbing monsters with swords; and a MG fantasy set in Central Florida about a morally ambiguous family business and the witch who takes offense.