• US Edition

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Once and Future

Once and Future

Thrilling, inventive and inclusive fantasy adventure from two great storytellers.

Ari Helix has been an illegal immigrant in the galaxies controlled by the Mercer Company her entire life. On the run with her adoptive brother Kay following their parents’ arrest (for harboring refugee Ari), things couldn’t get worse…until their rugged spaceship crashes on Old Earth and Ari pulls a magic sword from an ancient willow, confirming her fate as the forty-second reincarnation of King Arthur.

Ari’s actions spark to life the well-known Arthurian cycle in a brand new universe—one where a massive corporation is king and anything outside of its reach is illegal. To assist her fate, Ari is accompanied by Merlin. The Merlin. Who awakens in the Crystal Cave and discovers that, having aged backwards over the last forty-one Arthurs, he is now—wretchedly—a teenager, complete with voice cracks and hormones.

ri and Merlin embark on an epic tear across the galaxy to fulfill the needs of the cycle–quests & knights, love & betrayal, magic & power–in the eternal fight to unite humanity against its greatest foe: one another.

Rights details

USA/Canada: Jimmy imprint, Little Brown USA (March 2019)
UK/Commonwealth: Oneworld
US/Canada audio: Blackstone
UK/Commonwealth audio: Bolinda

Good news

B&N Teen Blog: 29 Most Anticipated LGBTQAP YA Books of 2019: Jan-April


Starred review from Publishers Weekly


Starred review from School Library Journal

“Recommended to fans of Avalon High by Meg Cabot and Damar by Robin McKinley. VERDICT Capetta and McCarthy take the British legend and lore of King Arthur in a retelling that is a must-have for young adult collections.”


Starred review from Kirkus

“All hail this worthier-than-ever, fresh, and affirming reincarnation of the legendary king and her round table of knights which dazzles with heroic flair, humor, and suspense.”


The Author

Cory McCarthy

Cory McCarthy studied poetry and screenwriting before earning an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Kirkus called their debut YA novel, THE COLOR OF RAIN, “[an] elegantly written and emotionally cathartic page-turner.”

BREAKING SKY is in development to become a film at Josephson Entertainment, while their third title, YOU WERE HERE, is a contemporary mixed-media novel containing graphic novel sections and word-art poetry. NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE released from Sourcebooks Fire in 2018, followed by a fantasy duology written with their partner, Amy Rose Capetta; ONCE AND FUTURE and THE SWORD IN THE STARS published in 2019 and 2020.

In 2021, Cory’s first picture book will be released from Candlewick, a biography of the inspiring Lebanese-American poet Kahlil Gibran, entitled HOPE IS AN ARROW.

Like many of their characters, Cory is a member of the LGBTQ+ community.


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