Thoughtfully imaginative and action-packed, Steeplejack is New York Times best-selling A. J. Hartley's YA debut, set in a 19th-century South African fantasy world. Actress Noma Dumezweni - best known for originating the role of Hermione Granger in the stage production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - narrates with the precision and delicacy of a high wire act to bring a remarkably complex and one of a kind heroine to life.
Seventeen-year-old Anglet Sutonga lives repairing the chimneys, towers, and spires of the city of Bar-Selehm. Dramatically different communities live and work alongside each other. The white Feldish command the nation's higher echelons of society. The native Mahweni are divided between city life and the savannah. And then there's Ang, part of the Lani community who immigrated over generations ago as servants and now mostly live in poverty on Bar-Selehm's edges.
When Ang is supposed to meet her new apprentice Berrit, she instead finds him dead. That same night, the Beacon, an invaluable historical icon, is stolen. The Beacon's theft commands the headlines, yet no one seems to care about Berrit's murder - except for Josiah Willinghouse, an enigmatic young politician. When he offers her a job investigating his death, she plunges headlong into new and unexpected dangers.
Meanwhile, crowds gather in protests over the city's mounting troubles. Rumors surrounding the Beacon's theft grow. More suspicious deaths occur. With no one to help Ang except Josiah's haughty younger sister, a savvy newspaper girl, and a kindhearted herder, Ang must rely on her intellect and strength to resolve the mysterious link between Berrit and the missing Beacon before the city descends into chaos.
Thriller Award Winner, Best Young Adult Novel, 2017
"Tough, inquisitive, and forthright. Breakout African-born actress Noma Dumezweni perfectly captures the voice and personality of chimney sweep Anglet Sutonga.... Steeplejack turns out to be Dumezweni's first audiobook narration. Let's hope we hear more from her soon." (AudioFile)
"A richly realized world, an intensely likable character, and a mystery to die for." (Cory Doctorow, New York Times best-selling author)