The Ones We Burn (Hardcover)
November/December 2022 Kids Indie Next List
“A five-hundred-page novel became a single night’s endeavor; when I dared to think of sleep, Mix had another clever turn. A stunning narrative for fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender and/or Taylor Swift. Magical, sapphic, and visceral.”
— Samantha White, One More Page Books, Arlington, VA
An instant New York Times bestseller!
Love and duty collide in this richly imagined young adult debut about a witch whose dark powers put her at the center of a brewing war between the only family she’s ever known and the enemy who makes her question everything.
Monster. Butcher. Bloodwinn.
Ranka is tired of death. All she wants is to be left alone, living out her days in Witchik’s wild north with the coven that raised her, attempting to forget the horrors of her past. But when she is named Bloodwinn, the next treaty bride to the human kingdom of Isodal, her coven sends her south with a single directive: kill him. Easy enough, for a blood-witch whose magic compels her to kill.
Except the prince is gentle, kind, and terrified of her. He doesn’t want to marry Ranka; he doesn’t want to be king at all. And it’s his sister—the wickedly smart, infuriatingly beautiful Princess Aramis—who seems to be the real threat.
But when witches start turning up dead, murdered by a mysterious, magical plague, Aramis makes Ranka an offer: help her develop a cure, and in return, she’ll help Ranka learn to contain her deadly magic. As the coup draws nearer and the plague spreads, Ranka is forced to question everything she thought she knew about her power, her past, and who she’s meant to fight for. Soon, she will have to decide between the coven that raised her and the princess who sees beyond the monster they shaped her to be.
But as the bodies pile up, a monster may be exactly what they need.
About the Author
Rebecca Mix is a fantasy author and Michigander who writes about messy girls and creepy magic. Her debut novel, The Ones We Burn, is a witchy, sapphic dark young adult fantasy. Her work has been featured by BuzzFeed, Tor, Bustle, HuffPost, and more. If you can’t find her, she’s probably goofing off on social media @MixBecca, or attempting to sneak yet another plant into the house.
"One of the freshest YA fantasies I've read in years. Every page brims with passion. Ranka, Percy, Galen and Aramis are still vivid in my imagination long after I turned the final page. Fans of diverse YA fantasy - do NOT miss this one." —Natasha Ngan, New York Times bestselling author of Girls of Paper and Fire
"Feral and tender at once. Rebecca Mix has created a world teeming with terrifying magic and ferocious monsters to be saved. The Ones We Burn is a story of strength, and love that is chosen." —Chloe Gong, New York Times bestselling author of These Violent Delights
"The Ones We Burn is a richly woven standalone fantasy that’s as beautiful as it is fierce. From its spectacularly crafted world of witches and horrifying monsters, to the most tender character arcs and a fabulous love story, Rebecca Mix has solidified her place as YA fantasy’s new auto-buy author." —Adalyn Grace, New York Times bestselling author of Belladonna
"At once familiar and entirely fresh, Rebecca Mix's The Ones We Burn is a stunning fantasy that deftly navigates grief, love, and the powerful necessity of hope. Set in a rich, sweeping world, and penned with prose as brutal as Ranka's blood-magic, you'll find yourself lost in the thoughtful exploration of found family, the whip-smart magic system and the tender, striking sapphic romance. Ranka is the sort of heroine you can't help but root for and Aramis, Galen and Percy will linger long after the final page. I love this book. Rebecca Mix is a writer to watch." —Adrienne Tooley, author of Sweet & Bitter Magic
"The Ones We Burn is a dark gem of a book. Burning with feral strength, like Ranka the storytelling is raw and sharp, yet inside there is also a welcome balm of tender love and healing. Rebecca Mix is officially one of my favourite authors." —Francesca May, Sunday Times bestselling author of Wicked and Wild Things
A fully fleshed, nuanced cast driven by the need for acceptance, a desire for justice, and a thirst for power propel this adrenaline-fueled debut. Mix’s striking prose skillfully layers the characters’ emotional vulnerabilities without reading as saccharine or sacrificing momentum.
— Publishers Weekly
From start to finish, this action-packed debut pulls no punches...readers are given a continuous unfurling of information strengthened by a queer romance and accompanied by the kind of high stakes that fantasy-lovers will reach for.
Ranka and Aramis’ slow-burn romance is rewarding. Some worldbuilding questions are left unanswered, as the story’s more concerned with narratives about betrayal of trust and untangling abuse and manipulation from love...[a] relationship-driven fantasy with much to offer.
— Kirkus Reviews