Darker by Four (Hardcover)

Darker by Four By June CL Tan Cover Image
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The Shadowhunter Chronicles meets Chinese diaspora folklore in Darker by Four, the first in an epic contemporary fantasy duology from Jade Fire Gold author June Tan.

A vengeful girl. A hollow boy. A missing god.

Rui has one goal in mind—honing her magic to avenge her mother’s death. 

Yiran is the black sheep of an illustrious family. The world would be at his feet—had he been born with magic. 

Nikai is a Reaper, serving the Fourth King of Hell. When his master disappears, the underworld begins to crumble…and the human world will be next if the King is not found.

When an accident causes Rui’s power to transfer to Yiran, everything turns upside down. Without her magic, Rui has no tool for vengeance. With it, Yiran finally feels like he belongs. That is, until Rui discovers she might hold the key to the missing death god and strikes a dangerous bargain with another King.

As darkness takes over, three paths intersect in the shadows. And three lives bound by fate must rise against destiny before the barrier between worlds falls and all Hell breaks loose—literally.

Perfect for fans of This Savage Song and Only a Monster, Darker by Four will pull readers into a world of love, desperation, and revenge—a world where every deal has a catch, no secret stays buried, and no one is exactly who they say they are.

About the Author

June CL Tan is the author of the international bestselling Jade Fire Gold and the Darker by Four duology. A Singaporean raised on a diet of teh tarik, classic books, and wuxia movies, she enjoys telling stories that draw on both the traditional and modern to create something fresh to the eye but familiar to the heart.

Praise For…

“A darkly exhilarating ride rich with unraveling secrets and intrigue.”  — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“This slick, stylish fantasy offers an exciting narrative, fascinating world-building, and characters that tug on the heartstrings.”  — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)

"A book that deserves both its own anime adaptation and a spot on the shelves of any library with fantasy-loving teens." — School Library Journal (starred review)

"Recommend this to fans of Neal Shusterman's Arc of a Scythe series or to readers of the Sandman graphic novels." — Booklist

"June CL Tan excels at writing tactile worlds and ensemble casts, and nowhere is this more evident than in Darker by Four. If you ever wanted a book that reads like a comfort anime that also isn’t afraid to skewer you with angst and explosive fight sequences, then look no further." — Joan He, New York Times bestselling author of The Ones We're Meant To Find

"You'll want to dive headfirst into Tan’s world of bloodthirsty revenants and teen exorcists grappling with love, betrayal, and the relentless desire for revenge. With nods to dark fantasy anime and Chinese folklore, Darker By Four is the jaw-dropping start to a stunning new series." — Axie Oh, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea and XOXO

"A complete page-turner of a fantasy! Full of reapers and exorcists, family legacies and life-long grudges, readers will find it hard to decide who to root for. The full cast of beautifully dynamic characters with hidden pasts and dangerous secrets will keep you guessing until the end. Thrilling and Riveting!" — Kat Cho, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked Fox and Once Upon a K-Prom

"I adored this! Darker By Four is a rich and vividly drawn world of revenants, exorcists, death gods and stolen magic. Rui, Zizi, Yiran and Nikai will all be your new favorite characters in this thrilling new fantasy from June CL Tan." — Vanessa Len, internationally bestselling author of Only a Monster and Never a Hero

Darker by Four is a fresh and fast-paced fantasy that grabs you by the throat. Both ruthless and tender, this book leads you through a perilous world of death while grounding you in raw emotions—the desire to prove ourselves, protect those we love, and seek our destiny. — Kylie Lee Baker, author of The Keeper of Night

"Tan expertly weaves together a world of darkly dangerous fantasy with achingly real friendships and a simmering romance in Darker by Four. Those who gravitate toward mythological twists and pulse-pounding action will surely enjoy this jewel of a book." — Sophie Kim, author of Last of the Talons 

"With a brilliant mix of Chinese mythology, action, humor, and slow-burn romance, Darker By Four is a thrilling contemporary fantasy that breathes new life to the fantasy genre. If you're ready for an epic journey into a world where dark secrets unfold and the line between monsters and humanity blurs, Darker By Four awaits you!" — Aiden Thomas, NY Times bestselling author of Cemetery Boys and The Sunbearer Trials 

“A thrilling urban fantasy set in an imaginative realm where the Chinese underworld crashes into a modern city. Darker By Four is an action-packed anime fever dream and I need the sequel now!” — Judy I. Lin, #1 NYT bestselling author of A Magic Steeped in Poison

Praise for Jade Fire Gold:
“ [A] smoldering romance takes place against the backdrop of themes of duality and complementarity in nature, trauma and revenge, self-sacrifice, truth in history, and the fight for a better future… A magic-filled debut that will leave readers eager for more from this author.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[A] thrilling debut. Effective worldbuilding and vivid imagery suck the reader in to Tan’s high-fantasy, Chinese folklore–inspired world. A strong cast of supporting characters rounds out a book rooted in themes of power and imperialism."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"From sweeping deserts to thrashing seas, JADE FIRE GOLD is adventure at its finest. Yet in between its pages you’ll also find a tender spirit and beautifully rendered story that honors the great wuxia epics. Jin Yong would be proud."
Joan He, New York Times bestselling author of Descendant of the Crane and The Ones We're Meant to Find.

"Epic in every sense of the word, Jade Fire Gold is a fantasy as beautiful as it is sweeping. June CL Tan's world sings with magic on each page, populated with characters readers will cheer and cry for in equal measure." 
Roseanne A. Brown, New York Times Bestselling Author of A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

"An epic adventure! Ahn and Altan steal off the pages with their delicious banter, and into readers' hearts with their resilience and courage."
Elizabeth Lim, New York Times bestselling author of SPIN THE DAWN and SO THIS IS LOVE 

"A spectacularly crafted world. Jade Fire Gold breathes new air into old mythology, bringing an utterly fresh lens to a classic story. With gripping storytelling that depicts a perilous adventure, June CL Tan has brightened up YA fantasy." 
Chloe Gong, New York Times bestselling author of These Violent Delights

"Brutal and beautiful, June Tan's debut is a force. JADE FIRE GOLD was a gripping adventure I couldn't put down.” 
Hafsah Faizal, New York Times bestselling author of We Hunt the Flame

"A rich fantasy world and complex, intricately drawn characters makes JADE FIRE GOLD an addictive story that is impossible to put down. June CL Tan is a stunning new debut and one to watch." 
Swati Teerdhala, Author of The Tiger At Midnight series 

Addictive and immersive, June C.L. Tan's JJade Fire Gold transported me straight to the desert and kept me there right up until the final page. A spectacular debut full of adventure, magic and heart—I can't wait to see what comes next from this talented new voice in YA fantasy!
Lynette Noni, #1 bestselling author of The Prison Healer

“A complex and intriguing world based on Chinese mythology… [for] those who love larger-than-life stakes.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Tan’s richly imagined, magical debut will leave readers breathless.”

Product Details
ISBN: 9780063283848
ISBN-10: 0063283840
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2024
Pages: 400
Language: English