Venom & Vow (Hardcover)
Two enemy kingdoms are forced to work together to break a curse in this lush YA fantasy, featuring a transgender prince and a bigender dama/assassin in the lead roles.
Keep your enemy closer.
Cade McKenna is a transgender prince who’s doubling for his brother.
Valencia Palafox is a young dama attending the future queen of Eliana.
Gael Palma is the infamous boy assassin Cade has vowed to protect.
Patrick McKenna is the reluctant heir to a kingdom, and the prince Gael has vowed to destroy.
Cade doesn’t know that Gael and Valencia are the same person.
Valencia doesn’t know that every time she thinks she’s fighting Patrick, she’s fighting Cade.
And when Cade and Valencia blame each other for a devastating enchantment that takes both their families, neither of them realizes that they have far more dangerous enemies.
Cowritten by married writing team Anna-Marie and Elliott McLemore, Venom & Vow is a lush and powerful YA novel about owning your power and becoming who you really are - no matter the cost.
Elliott McLemore is a nonbinary trans guy who comes from mountains and loves trees. As a child, he romped in dresses, fought with plastic swords, and dreamed up his first stories. Between then and now, he has focused on academic and professional writing, research, and advocacy, including work toward adding nonbinary gender markers to California identity documents. Venom & Vow is his debut novel.
"Enemies-to-lovers romances rarely offer this much emotional depth, and fans of the trope will find a lot to love about this coauthored romantic YA fantasy." —Booklist, starred review
"A delightful fantasy of errors . . . Readers hoping for more of McLemore’s signature sensitive treatment of trans and genderfluid characters will definitely want to pick this up." —BCCB
"Married cowriters Anna-Marie and debut author Elliott McLemore empathetically interrogate issues of self via dual-identity situations in an uplifting fantastical romance . . . The McLemores approach the teens’ challenges with candor and grace." —Publishers Weekly
"Two trans teens find each other and themselves in this romantic fantasy for fans of Kristin Cashore’s Graceling and A.R. Capetta’s The Brilliant Death . . . Outstanding transgender and disabled representation shines." —Kirkus Reviews
"Magic, myth, and identity (both mistaken and real) weave through the vibrant tapestry of this collaboration... The authentic representation and romance make this a great choice for fans of A.R. Capetta and Aiden Thomas." -School Library Journal