The Bookseller – Rights – HoZ seizes on the beginnings of YA Beowulf’s feminist fantasy


Head of Zeus acquired damsel shield by Sharon Emmerichs, a “lush and feminist” fantasy debut album for young adults inspired by the Beowulf mythos.

Publisher Rosie de Courcy has acquired global rights in all languages ​​to Kristina Pérez from the Zeno agency, and the novel will be published in the UK in hardcover and e-book on February 2, 2023 with the Ad Astra listing.

The book follows Fryda, a young woman who grows up hearing stories about her uncle, King Beowulf, and his defeat of the monster Grendel.

“Her one wish is to become a full shield maiden, but a terrible childhood accident thwarted that dream,” the synopsis reads. “Yet, somehow, she feels an uncontrollable power beginning to rise within herself. But she’s not the only one feeling the effects of her new battle magic. For, buried at most Deep in its golden lair, a dragon is drawn to Fryda’s savage power, and slowly awakens from a long cursed slumber.”

De Courcy said: “The moment Kristina Pérez told me she had a novel for sale featuring Beowulf, a wounded shield maiden and a dragon, I felt that familiar peak of excitement. acquiring publishers. damsel shield is everything I hoped it would be and more. We’re going to have so much fun posting it.”

Emmerichs is an Associate Professor of Shakespeare and Medieval Literature and received the Jason Wenger Award for Excellence in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska at Anchorage for her debut.

damsel shield is set in the Old English poem ‘Beowulf’, but it distracts the camera from the heroism of the titular king and elevates the marginalized voices around him,” she said, describing the inspiration behind the novel. Who was the exiled slave who awakened the deadly dragon?

“I wanted damsel shield not only to tell a great story, but also to fill in the gaps left by the original poem and reflect the rich diversity of early medieval communities. It was so wonderful to work with Rosie de Courcy from Head of Zeus and Kristina Pérez from Zeno Agency, who believe in my first novel as much as I do.”

Pérez added: “I was immediately captivated by Sharon’s lush, feminist sequel Beowulf with a twist. Its expertly researched world-building is flawless and the heroine leaps off the page. damsel shield is a unique reimagining and an important addition to the canon.”

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