This is book number 1 in the Steeplejack series.
Thoughtfully imaginative and action-packed, Steeplejack is New York Times bestselling A. J. Hartley's YA debut set in a 19th-century South African fantasy world
2017 Thriller Awards Winner for Best Young Adult
YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Selection
Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book
Booklist Top Ten YA in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror
“A richly realized world, an intensely likable character, and a mystery to die for." — Cory Doctorow, New York Times-bestselling author
Seventeen-year-old Anglet Sutonga lives and works as a steeplejack in Bar-Selehm, a sprawling city known for its great towers, spires, and smokestacks – and even greater social disparities across race and class.
Ang’s world is turned upside-down when her new apprentice Berrit is murdered the same night that the city’s landmark jewel is stolen. Her search for answers behind his death exposes unrest in the streets and powerful enemies. But she also finds help from unexpected friends: a kindhearted savannah herder, a politician’s haughty sister, and a savvy newspaper girl. As troubles mount in Bar-Selehm, Ang must discover the truth behind both murder and theft soon – or else watch the city descend into chaos.
“Hartley’s story is a thought-provoking blend of action and intrigue, with a competent and ethical heroine in Ang and a fully imagined setting whose atmosphere and cultural cues also play important roles. The result is an unforgettable page-turner built on surprises and full of potential.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Skillful writing, masterful pacing, and a capable and quite likable female detective are just a few of the things to love about this fantasy-adventure. This one won’t stay on the shelf for long.” — Booklist, starred review (May 1st), Cindy Welch
“The tension stays taut throughout the book, heightened with each precipice Anglet climbs: if she falls, the city goes to war. Smart political intrigue wrapped in all the twists and turns of a good detective story makes for a rip-roaring series opener.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“In his heart-poundingly suspenseful, elegantly crafted series debut, Steeplejack, A.J. Hartley (the Darwen Arkwright and Will Hawthorne series) introduces a tender and steely heroine in a racially tense, class-clashing world harking back to 19th-century South Africa....A city in crisis, breathtaking rooftop chases, harrowing assaults, blood oaths, love and loyalty, brutal betrayals and impressive detective work by the intelligent, intuitive Ang unfold in a fascinating, vividly described setting that includes smog and slums, gas lamps and opera houses, baboons and bushbabies. A political, multilayered mystery-thriller with a strong, impressively fierce heroine.” — Karin Snelson, children's & YA editor, starred review Shelf Awareness
“Steeplejack is quietly thoughtful and breathlessly exciting, and with two more series installments to follow, Ang’s personal and professional journey is far from over.” —BookPage, Teen Top Pick
“With its unique South African-inspired setting, richly-drawn and diverse cast of characters, and unstoppable plot, readers of any age won't be able to put Steeplejack down!” —Carrie Ryan, New York Times bestselling author
“With Steeplejack, A.J. Hartley introduces a dynamic, complex and likeable new heroine who combines wits, skill and courage to face deadly challenges in an exotic world. Teens and adults will love this book and want more, more, more!” —Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Rot & Ruin and The Orphan Army.
“A.J. Hartley has created an exquisite, explosive, nail-biting, tear-rousing masterpiece, in a world so realistic it might be right around the corner.” —Faith Hunter, New York Times bestselling author
“What a world Hartley has created! Enough twists and surprises to keep the pages turning long into the night.” —R.L. Stine
“A unique epic adventure set in a richly imagined world; lush, exotic and masterfully written. It's Sherlock Holmes, Oliver Twist, and Indiana Jones rolled into one.” —Lissa Price, internationally bestselling author of Starters and Enders
“Smart and socially-aware, this fabulous debut adds to the growing library of multicultural fantasy and is a loudly resounding success.” —Nisi Shawl, Tiptree Award-winning author and co-author of Writing the Other: A Practical Approach
“With Steeplejack, A.J. Hartley creates a world as complex as its heroine, and a mystery that spans class, race and geography. You can feel the grit and glory of Bar-Selehm, a many-spired city teetering on the edge of the savannah, and the verge of war. The perfect setting for a street-smart young woman who is caught between three cultures, yet refuses to be trapped by them.” —Sherri L. Smith, award-winning author of Flygirls and Orleans
“Hartley has created a world so gritty and real I could taste the soot.” —Maurice Broaddus, author of the Knights of Breton Court trilogy
“Steeplejack combines a lively and intelligent plot with an intriguing and well-drawn world, and caps all this goodness with a determined and indefatigable heroine.” —Kate Elliott, author of Court of Fives
“A rich, atmospheric tale of adventure, morality and consequence, Steeplejack will linger with you long after you read the last page.” —Kady Cross, author of the Steampunk Chronicles and Sisters of Blood and Spirit series
“Steeplejack has everything a reader could want: Elegant prose, a cracking good mystery, lots of action, and characters to fall in love with and root for. I read it cover to cover in no time at all. In fact, I did so twice! And I was on the edge of my seat both times.” —D.B. Jackson, author of the Thieftaker series
“I was completely hooked from page one. Ang is a hero to cheer for heart and soul. A thrilling, clever, meaningful read.” —Leanna Renee Hieber, award-winning author of Strangely Beautiful and The Eterna Files
“Steeplejack is an exquisitely built mystery set in a lush, vibrant world. I was loath to leave Ang and Bar-Selehm behind at the end of it. Definitely a book to be revisited again and again.” —Kat Zhang, author of What’s Left of Me