Yen Press announced they will publish Svetlana Chamakova’s The Weirn Books, Vol. 1: Be Wary of the Silent Woods through their JY imprint that is dedicated to middle grade readers.
The Weirn Books is the latest series from Chamakova, who is known for her graphic novels Dramacon, Nightschool, and the manga adaptation of James Patterson’s Witch & Wizard as well as the webcomic Chasing Rainbows.
She’s also the author behind the Berrybrook Middle School series.
The Weirn Books follow protagonist Ailis Thornton and her cousin Na’ya Leiburne-Thornton as they they face off against their nemesis Patricia Chow.
In the first volume Ailis and Na’ya will encounter shifters, vampires, weirns, and other night things passing for human that prowl the streets in the Night Realm. But they will still have to attend school and make sure their homework is finished.
Here’s a breakdown of the characters for The Weirn Books supplied to us from Yen Press:
Ailis Maeve Thornton
Ailis, a twelve-year-old weirn (a witch with a demon guardian spirit bound to them from birth), is a kind and adventurous introvert. She may not have a witty comeback right away or think fast on her feet, but she is very clever and has many useful ideas. While her parents are away, Ailis is living with her grandma above grandma’s magic store, eating every pastry she can snatch from grandma’s kitchen, and going to school every weeknight to learn important weirn subjects, like magic, spells, cryptozoology, and math. Also to train her Astral, because Astrals can be very mischievous troublemakers. Luckily, Ailis’s Astral has always been mild-mannered—she just sheds a lot and randomly digs up the ground. (And she helps herself to the pastries from Grandma’s kitchen along with Ailis.)
Na’ya is a twelve-year-old weirn and Ailis’s cousin. Clever, sharp-tongued, and always certain of who she is and what she wants, Na’ya has been fascinated by dragons since an early age and is making serious plans to become one when she grows up (or maybe even earlier). Along with Ailis, she has to go to school every weeknight and endure all the dumb in its hallways, especially the undeserved label of “loser cousins” that got stuck to her and Ailis, mostly thanks to the efforts of Na’ya’s evil ex-best friend, Patricia Chow. Na’ya lives on the outskirts of town, in an old farmhouse-turned-veterinary-clinic with her little brother and perpetually busy parents (a mystery writer and a veterinarian to night animal creatures).
D’esh is a five-year-old weirn with a very outgoing personality but a very shy Astral. Friendly and excited about everything, D’esh easily gets along with everyone he meets (except for his older sister, Na’ya, with whom the fights are never ending). Every night, D’esh has to go to night care with all the other little kids, but where he really wants to go is Na’ya’s and Ailis’s school. D’esh has an unusual sensitivity to other creatures’ moods and thoughts, which can be helpful sometimes—but a problem at others.
Julia Thornton, aka Grandma
Mom to two grown kids and grandma to three, Julia (Ms. Thornton to YOU) is an eighty-year-old weirn with mysteries in her past and too much to do in the present. Between running a magic-supplies store and looking after her grandkids, she doesn’t have time for any nonsense, and she is not shy to let that be known. Tough as rusty old nails and busy as a grumpy beaver building a mile-high dam, she still somehow manages to envelop her entire family in care and provide them with a steady supply of freshly baked chocolate rolls.
Jasper is a twelve-year-old weirn, next door neighbor/frenemy to Ailis, and sufferer of an unrequited crush on Na’ya. Kind, easygoing, and always game for an adventure, Jasper usually ends up in the thick of Ailis and Na’ya’s shenanigans and always has good ideas to help out in a crisis. Jasper’s only unpredictable trait is his Astral, who is waaaaaaay too eager to throw things and break stuff, which constantly gets Jasper in trouble. It’s a good thing every weirn kid knows the “fix-it” spell!
A twelve-year-old weirn with a cautiously guarded secret, Patricia used to be best friends with Ailis and Na’ya in elementary school. But when the schools changed, so did Patricia! With new goals and pressures in her life, she is now a completely different person, pushing the cousins away, dubbing them “loser cousins,” and never letting them forget the school’s social pecking order and their place in it. A new upgraded set of friends, a ruthless designer-fashion look that sparkles with perfection, plus fear and respect from the rest of the students—Patricia’s got it all handled… Or does she?
A fifteen-year-old shape-shifter who has a humanlike form and a wolflike form (as well as a sloppy hybrid of the two, as suits the occasion). A student at the same nightschool that Ailis and Na’ya attend, Russ also hangs out a lot at their grandma’s store and works any part-time hours he can get his paws on. His big dream right now is to save up enough cash to buy a car, modify it to travel in the Night Realm, and take a road trip with his best friend across the entire West Vashi Domain. Russ is good-natured, money focused, very strong, and can reportedly carry roughly ten thousand children out of danger all at once.
The Weirn Books, Vol. 1: Be Wary of the Silent Woods releaseson June 16, 2020.