“Raybearer ”Author Jordan Ifueko Reveals Cover of New Fantasy Novel: ‘I Am Overjoyed’ (Exclusive)

'The Maid and the Crocodile,' out this summer, is a standalone book set within the ‘Raybearer’ universe

<p>Cover illustrations © 2024 Charles Chaisson, bookdesign by Deena Micah Fleming; David Suh</p> The cover of

Cover illustrations © 2024 Charles Chaisson, bookdesign by Deena Micah Fleming; David Suh

The cover of 'The Maid and the Crocodile' and a picture of Jordan Ifueko

Jordan Ifueko is back on her fantasy game.

The bestselling author of the Raybearer series has shared the cover of her latest — and hotly anticipated — new book, The Maid and the Crocodile, exclusively with PEOPLE. The book will be published this summer by Abrams Books.

The Maid and the Crocodile
, a standalone West African fantasy novel set within the Raybearer universe, takes place within the magic city of Oluwan. Small Sade, a Curse Eater with a gift for altering people’s fates through cleaning, is looking for work. However, she soon finds herself caught up with a god called The Crocodile, who supposedly eats young girls, and will be familiar to readers of Ifueko’s 2021 novel Redemptor.

<p>Cover illustrations © 2024 Charles Chaisson, bookdesign by Deena Micah Fleming</p> 'The Maid and the Crocodile' by Jordan Ifueko

Cover illustrations © 2024 Charles Chaisson, bookdesign by Deena Micah Fleming

'The Maid and the Crocodile' by Jordan Ifueko

Small Sade, determined to make a name for herself within Oluwan, ignores him and begins work at an inn. All the while, she holds out hope that she doesn’t cross paths with The Crocodile, and that the secrets she harbors don’t come to light.

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While remaining true to her knack for high-stakes plots, Ifueko explains that this latest novel also poses important questions amidst the fun.

"I wrote The Maid and the Crocodile to be a dreamy coming-of-age fantasy: a country girl who eats curses, a handsome god who eats girls, a bustling city, a villa with magical doors,” Ifueko says. 

“But at its heart, Maid is a rallying song for the dignity of workers,” the author continues. “It asks: Are workers less beautiful than fairies and empresses? Less magical? Less brimming with purpose? Do they need heroic "chosen ones" to save them? Or can they, by standing together, save themselves better than a chosen one ever could?”

<p>David Suh</p> Jordan Ifueko

David Suh

Jordan Ifueko

Ifueko’s best-selling Raybearer duology, which includes the books Raybearer (2020) and Redemptor, follows Tarisai, a girl raised by an absent mother named The Lady, and who is gifted with the ability to see into other people’s lives. The fantasy novels earned Ifueko the prestigious Nebula Award and an Audie Award. Raybearer is also set to be adapted into a Netflix series.

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Though sure to contain new surprises, Ifueko says she is excited for readers to return to a familiar setting with The Maid and the Crocodile.

“I am overjoyed to welcome readers back to the multicultural world of Aritsar, seen first through the Raybearer books, and hope they enjoy Maid every bit as much as I loved writing it,” Ifueko says.

The Maid and the Crocodile
will hit shelves on Aug. 13 and is available for pre-order now, wherever books are sold.

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