The Nigerian-American fantasy author and martial artist Moses Ose Utomi’s debut YA fantasy novel Daughters of Oduma is set for publication in February 2023 by Atheneum Books.

The novel, supposedly inspired by West African culture, is described as “scintillating” and is recommended for fans of The Gilded Ones and Creed. It follows “an elite female fighter who must re-enter the competition to protect her found family of younger sisters.”

Moses Ose Utomi holds an MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College and has had work published with Tor and Fantasy Magazine, among others. When Utomi is not reading or writing, he is indulging his restlessness by traveling, making progress on his martial arts journey, or doing karaoke – with or without a backing track. Visit him on Instagram @ProfSeaquill and TikTok @MosesOseUtomi.

Read the full synopsis of Daughters of Oduma below, and pre-order here.

Eat. Dance. Fight.

This is the life of the girls who compete in the Isle’s elite, all-female fighting sport of Bowing. But it isn’t really Dirt’s life anymore. At sixteen, she is old and has retired from competition. Instead, she spends her days coaching the younger sisters of the Mud Fam and dreading her fast-approaching birthday, when she’ll have to leave her sisters to fulfill whatever destiny the Gods choose for her.

Dirt’s young sisters are coming along nicely, and the Mud Fam is sure to win the upcoming South God Bow tournament, which is crucial: the tiny Fam needs the new recruits that come with victory. Then an attack from a powerful rival leaves the Mud without their top Bower, and Dirt is the only one who can compete in the tournament. But Dirt is old, out of shape, and afraid. She has never wanted to be a leader. Victory seems impossible—yet defeat would mean the end of her beloved Fam. And no way is Dirt going to let that happen.