Home 5 News 5 Saara El-Arifi’s ‘Faebound’ Success, Cleopatra Next

Saara El-Arifi’s ‘Faebound’ Success, Cleopatra Next

by | Jan 30, 2024 | News

The fantasy author Saara El-Arifi has earned her first Official UK Top 50 number one place for her novel Faebound (HarperVoyager) in its launch week.   This news follows the publisher’s Borough Press imprint buying two historical novels from the author, Cleopatra and The Queen of Sheba .

 

Suzie Dooré, Editor at Large for The Borough Press, pre-empted the two literary historical novels in a significant deal with Juliet Mushens at Mushens Entertainment. Dooré acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, with the first book scheduled in 2025.

 

Cleopatra will retell the story of Egypt’s most famous queen, the most iconic woman in history, and opens at the moment she discovers that her father has died and she is Pharaoh. El-Arifi, already a Sunday Times bestseller on HarperFiction’s Voyager list with two trilogies underway – The Ending Fire and Faebound – recently completed an MA in African Studies at London’s School of African and Oriental Studies, specialising in Cleopatra as her dissertation subject.

 

El-Arifi said: “I’m overjoyed that I get to bring my rendition of Cleopatra to the page, interweaving history and myth in a fresh interpretation of the last Pharaoh of Egypt. That I get to do it at The Borough Press and with Suzie Dooré at my side promises readers something truly magical.”

 

Dooré said: “I have obviously long admired Saara’s previous novels on our sister imprint, HarperVoyager, so I almost bit Juliet’s hand off when she first mentioned this new direction for her – I can’t imagine a more perfect combination of novelist and subject. The world needs a fictionalised retelling of the life of this beyond-iconic woman from a female writer of colour, especially one with Saara’s unique storytelling abilities. Even the opening line gave me goosebumps – this book will become the definitive fictional work about Cleopatra.”

 

Mushens said: “As soon as Saara told me that she wanted to bring the story of Cleopatra to life, I was over the moon – I think Suzie Dooré and The Borough Press will be the perfect home to launch this strand of her publishing career.”

 

Saara El-Arifi was raised in the Middle East until her formative years, when her family moved to a village outside of Sheffield. After a decade of working in marketing and communications, she returned to academia to complete a master’s degree in African studies alongside her writing career. Through her novels, El-Arifi explores her own West African and Arab heritage, centring diverse characters and multicultural worlds.

 

 

 

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