King Nyx: A Novel (Hardcover)

King Nyx: A Novel By Kirsten Bakis Cover Image
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A haunting mystery about lost girls and the woman driven to find them, from the author of the contemporary classic Lives of the Monster Dogs.

Anna Fort wants to be a supportive wife, even if that means accompanying her husband for the winter of 1918 to a remote, frozen island estate so he can finish his book as the guest of an eccentric millionaire. When she learns three girls are missing from a school run by their host, Anna realizes finding them is up to her—even if that means risking her husband’s career, and possibly her life.

Her husband’s masterpiece-in-progress features strange meteorological anomalies along with wild speculations about “facts” he believes scientists hide from the public. Most people think Charles Fort is a crackpot. That’s about to change now that wealthy Claude Arkel is his patron.

Yet Anna is sure something’s not right on Prosper Island, though the alarming return of her “troubles” makes her question her own sanity. Is the figure in the woods really the ghost of her long-lost friend Mary, or a product of her disturbed imagination? Accompanied reluctantly by a fellow guest, the elegant and troubled Stella Bixby, Anna embarks on a dangerous quest to find the missing girls before Arkel finds her—or her own mind unravels.

A contemporary feminist tale with a dreamlike, gothic setting, King Nyx reintroduces readers, twenty-five years after her acclaimed debut, to one of our most astonishingly imaginative storytellers.

About the Author

Kirsten Bakis teaches at the Yale Writers’ Workshop. Her previous novel, Lives of the Monster Dogs, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, winner of the Bram Stoker Award for best first novel, and was shortlisted for the international Women’s Prize for Fiction. She lives in New York's lower Hudson Valley.

Praise For…

Bakis’ language throughout the novel is appropriately lush, moody and dark—perfectly gothic, endlessly readable... [T]hrilling with slow burn reveals . . . King Nyx is a complex fever dream of a gothic narrative, a little bit Jane Eyre, a little bit Bluebeard, a little bit feminist historical fiction, a little bit remote location murder mystery, even a little bit steampunk . . . timeless.

— Mahvesh Murad - Reactor

It’s all wonderfully bizarre... King Nyx is one of those thrillers that smuggle real substance into their scares without ever taking on a lecturing tone.

— Neil McRobert - Esquire

Bakis's gothic journey, rendered in mellifluous and dreamy prose, will keep readers turning pages long past midnight.
— Shelf Awareness

I enjoyed the dark, gothic tale of King Nyx and each of its elements, including the caged-bird metaphors, as well as the denouement.

— Bossy Bookworm

Bakis, author of Lives of the Monster Dogs, creates an atmosphere of gut-churning dread from the first chapter . . . Trouble happens quickly, and there are scenes so anxiety-producing that you might want to put the book down and check to see that your windows and doors are secure. King Nyx is a scary good book.

— BookPage

Bakis’ latest novel has the pacing and suspense of a smart literary thriller: it’s almost impossible to put down once you’ve started it.
— Kirkus Reviews

A new novel from Kirsten Bakis is a reason to be wildly excited. King Nyx delivers all I could’ve hoped for from an author of such great gifts. A tale of gothic mystery and mounting dread with a narrator who is troubled, insightful, and quite funny at times. This is a novel of delicious disquiet. I sank into this book like it was a warm bed, or a warm grave. Some of its scenes even made their way into my dreams.

— Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling

Enticing, shadowy, and wildly compelling, King Nyx transports the reader to a world where every ghost brings new revelations, and every secret, greater truth. A smoldering, feminist dream of a book.

— Ami McKay, author of The Witches of New York

I don’t generally believe in page-turners, but King Nyx actually is a page-turner, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it long after I turned the last page. Opulent, haunting, riveting, and centered around a great gothic mystery—it’s like a Wilkie Collins novel for modern feminists.

— Amber Sparks, author of And I Do Not Forgive You

A magnificently unnerving dream of a book. I loved devoted, clear-eyed Anna, and watching her navigate a world in which reality slips toward symbol—full of images that might be pulled from the most gorgeous and haunting nightmare—genuinely terrified me. King Nyx is a marvelous novel.

— Clare Beams, author of The Illness Lesson

Once I began reading King Nyx, I couldn’t stop. In Bakis’s hands, the real, previously unvoiced Anna Fort has a story she must tell, and the only way she can tell it is to travel to the eerie, atmospheric, murky realm of her memory. I was mystified and entranced to the very end, lost in Anna’s mind and the strange, frightening landscape she finds herself in. This is a bold feminist novel that I will return to again and again.

— Lindsay Hunter, author of Hot Springs Drive

Product Details
ISBN: 9781324093534
ISBN-10: 1324093536
Publisher: Liveright
Publication Date: February 27th, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English