These Stolen Lives

Sharada Keats


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11 April 2024
ISBN: 9780702325120
464 pages

From the publisher

Powerful dystopian thriller” – The Bookseller

A powerful dystopian thriller from a stunning new voice in YA, set in a world divided by race where life itself must be paid for if you want to survive… Filled with suspense and romance, ideal for fans of Noughts & CrossesThe Hunger Games and Shatter Me. Six years ago, seventeen-year-old Mora survived the terrifying Skøl invasion. They stole her land. They took her family. And now not even her life is her own. Skøl culture revolves around one motto: Life is Golden. You must pay the government for the right to survive. If you can’t, you’re cast out at best – at worst, culled. Records of every citizen are held at the hallowed, highly secured Life Registry, which tracks who lives and who dies, who pays and who fails. Colonized survivors like Mora face endless servitude, repaying the ‘debt’ of their years lived before the invasion. Mora is resigned to her fate, finding glimmers of joy in her tentative friendship with another repayer, the handsome, elusive Kit. But then she finds out that twelve-year-old Zako, the closest thing she has to a brother, is to be put to death by the dangerous new Skøl Governor. Finding the courage to fight back, Mora and Kit conspire to smuggle Zako to safety. But their plan draws them into a dark mystery – and to a heart-pounding mission at the Life Registry itself. They must ultimately ask themselves: what are we worth to each other?

  • Gripping, moving and suspenseful storytelling with a friends-to-lovers romance that crackles with tension.
  • A girl driven by unthinkable grief. A boy targeted for his unimaginable ability. A compelling story exploring the power of hope, courage and connection from a stunning new voice in YA.
  • A richly imagined fantasy world that illuminates topics of colonialism, racism and societal structures that demand productivity and disenfranchise the poor.

Utterly captivating… The world Keats has created is terrifyingly believable… Keats’ writing was lush and evocative too.” – @_ashortbooklover, reader review