About the Book:
On the Fives court, everyone is equal.
And everyone is dangerous.
Jessamy’s life is a balance between acting like an upper-class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But away from her family, she can be whomever she wants when she sneaks out to train for the Fives, an intricate, multilevel athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom’s best competitors.
Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an improbable friendship between the two Fives competitors—one of mixed race and the other a Patron boy—causes heads to turn. When Kal’s powerful, scheming uncle tears Jes’s family apart, she’ll have to test her new friend’s loyalty and risk the vengeance of a royal clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.
In this imaginative escape into an enthralling new world, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott’s first young adult novel weaves an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege.
Kate Elliott has been writing stories since she was nine years old, which has led her to believe that writing, like breathing, keeps her alive. As a child in rural Oregon, she made up stories because she longed to escape to a world of lurid adventure fiction. She now writes fantasy, steampunk, science fiction, and YA.
It should come as no surprise that she met her future husband in a sword fight. When he gave up police work to study archaeology, they and their three children fell into an entirely new set of adventures amid dusty Mexican ruins and mouthwatering European pastry shops. Eventually her spouse’s work forced them to move to Hawaii, where she took up outrigger canoe paddling. With the three children out of the house, they now spoil the schnauzer.
“More Than A Box Score: ” The Secret Genesis of Court of Fives In Title IX
by Kate Elliott
When I was a girl the books written “for girls” almost never included the girls themselves being involved in thrilling sword fights, arduous overland treks, riots, and revolutions even though that was exactly the story I most wanted to read. Boys got those stories, not girls.
I was 13 when Title IX was passed, requiring, among other things, educational institutions to give girls & women the same opportunities to participate in sports as boys & men. When I was a young teen the girls often did not even have official leagues. Girls played “club” sports while boys played official high school sports, with leagues, playoffs, and state titles. All that changed with Title IX. Girls had to get the same opportunities as boys. In fact, when I was in high school I played in the very first official state basketball tournament held for girls. With the explosion of girls’ sports it’s hard to imagine now how different things were then.
In those days we were accustomed to seeing the boys’ games written up on the front page of the sports section while girls’ games, if they were recorded in the newspaper at all, were on the back page with nothing more than a box score. When I started writing seriously I made a promise to myself that girls wouldn’t just be a box score tucked behind the long complicated exciting stories about boys.
So as I began writing my first YA novel, I grabbed for a disparate group of influences: A family of sisters, as in Little Women. A setting inspired by GrecoRoman Egypt (where my archaeologist husband is doing field work), a country conquered by a small elite ruling over a large indigenous population.
And sports, because I loved sports as a girl even though we were told girls weren’t meant to love sports. I wanted to write a novel about a girl who happens to be a serious athlete, caught up in all the adventure and conflict and romance and tough choices that a fantasy novel can provide. Court of Fives is Jes’s story.
Loved learning this! Thanks so much to Kate Elliot!!
Thanks to the publisher I have a copy of Court of Fives for one lucky winner! US only. Use the rafflecopter below to enter.