A Phoenix First Must Burn

Patrice Caldwell

Age 14 +
19 March 2020
368 pages


Sixteen tales by bestselling and award-winning authors that explore the Black experience through fantasy, science fiction, and magic. With stories by: Elizabeth Acevedo, Amerie, Patrice Caldwell, Dhonielle Clayton, J. Marcelle Corrie, Somaiya Daud, Charlotte Nicole Davis, Justina Ireland, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Danny Lore, L. L. McKinney, Danielle Paige, Rebecca Roanhorse, Karen Strong, Ashley Woodfolk, and Ibi Zoboi.

Evoking Beyoncé's Lemonade for a YA audience, these authors have woven worlds to create stunning narratives that centre Black women and gender nonconforming individuals.

With fantasy, science fiction and magic at their core, the stories are sharp, atmospheric and visual explorations of histories, relationships and alternate universes that you can't help but to get lost in.

It will take you on a journey from folktales retold to futuristic societies and everything in between. Filled with stories of love and betrayal, strength and resistance, trauma and heroism, this collection contains an array of complex and true-to-life characters in which you cannot help but see yourself reflected. Witches and scientists, sisters and lovers, priestesses and rebels: the heroines of A PHOENIX FIRST MUST BURN are unforgettable and shine brightly.
A Pheonix First Must Burn: Sixteen Stories of Black Girl Magic, Resistance and Hope edited by Patrice Caldwell is a must read. The anthology contains 16 engrossing short stories by some of the best authors of colour. From Elizabeth Acevedo's story exploring a slave revolt in 1522 to Ibi Zoboi's piece inspired by Carribean lore to Somaiya Daud's entrancing fantasy and Patrice Caldwell's vampires reimagined, there is something in this anthology for everyone.
A treasure-house anthology of science fiction, fantasy and magic stories centred on black women. From a novice sorcerer who unleashes killer unicorns to a girl who can stop time, and another whose heart is slowing turning to ash, the collection is filled with beauty, fierceness and excitement.
Sixteen stories of Black girl magic, hope and resistance have been gathered together by Patrice Caldwell into this unique collection. The tales are from bestselling and award-winning authors who explore the Black female experience through fantasy, science-fiction and magic. Engaging stories centre around strong women and gender-nonconforming individuals, existing in worlds from the past, present and the future. Folk tales are retold and alternative realities are explored. The characters are witches, schoolgirls, sisters, rebels - highlighting the fact that heroines come in all shapes and sizes. Bravery links all the characters, though they are dealing with a variety of issues, such as betrayal, trauma, relationships and first love. Like any collection, some stories will appeal more than others, though all are of a high standard. Patrice Caldwell has done a marvellous job of editing this collection, including different writing styles across the genres. Some of the stories almost feel too short, like they are just the beginning or are extracted from a longer adventure. A Phoenix First Must Burn is a fantastic resource. A contributors' section ends the book, which guides the reader towards what to read next