LEX Copyright Iroda / LEX Copyright Office

by Jaclyn Moriarty


On the morning of her tenth birthday, Lillian Velvet receives a jar full of gold coins.

This is highly unusual. For Lillian lives with her Grandmother, who has never once given Lillian a gift. Or made Lillian a cake. Or even said a single kind word. In fact, there are many things Lillian has never experienced, as Grandmother keeps her shut in her house and small backyard. She barely knows the world outside her front door.

Then, as Lillian is examining the gold coins, shove –

Suddenly, Lillian finds herself in the Kingdoms and Empires, a world very different from her own, populated by genies, sprites, and vicious creatures called Hurtlings, one of which is currently attacking a girl named Carrie Mettlestone…

Just as soon as Lillian helps Carrie, Lillian is yanked back into her world.

Then, a few days later, shove.

Again and again, Lillian is thrust into the Kingdoms and Empires—always with the task of helping someone, and that someone is always linked to the sprawling and enigmatic Mettlestone family. But as soon as she completes her task, she is yanked back into her ordinary world, left with only more questions.

Why does this keep happening to her? How is she connected to the Mettlestone family? And as dangerous shadow magic closes in, and she begins to suspect that Grandmother is somehow involved, how can she possibly save her new friends—and herself?

THE SECRET OF LILLIAN VELVET is a breathtaking adventure featuring a one-of-a-kind heroine. Jaclyn Moriarty is at the height of her powers, crafting a story that is wonderfully enchanting and wholly original.


“Highly entertaining and brilliantly plotted…with its storytelling aplomb, humor, imagination, and many twists and turns, this novel places Moriarty firmly in Diana Wynne Jones territory. Readers will want to begin rereading this spell-binder just as soon as they finish it.” – Horn Book, starred review

“Her eventful story, seemingly as delicate as gossamer, yet strong as silk, is well structured and entertaining. An episodic, high-spirited tale of adventure and magic.” – Booklist

“This quirky and endearing adventure set in a captivating, off-beat world is an excellent purchase wherever fantasy circulates well.”

– School Library Journal

"Jaclyn Moriarty charms, thrills and delights in this delightfully unpredictable, unique and modern novel, while also brilliantly evoking echoes of classic children's authors like Diana Wynne Jones and Joan Aiken." - Garth Nix, bestselling author of the Old Kingdom series

"An absolute sparkling delight of a story! Whisperers, water sprites, spellbinders and faery cross-stitch; this book is brimming with bright new magic...just perfect." - Karen Foxlee, author of A Most Magical Girl and Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy

2017 Aurealis Award Finalist

2018 Australian Indie Book Award longlist

A Children's Book Council of Australia Notable Book

Shortlisted for the Readings Children's Prize

Winner of the Queensland Literary Award


“The many twists and turns of the plot will keep readers turning pages till the triumphant end.” – Horn Book

“This jam-packed, imaginative adventure is magically immersive and entertaining.” – Kirkus

“Moriarty’s novel is bursting at the seams with quirk and self-awareness of the genre…[A] fantastical treat.” – BCCB

"The real joy of this book though is the sincerity of Honey Bee and Finlay, from their inside jokes and teasing of each other's writing, to sharing their deepest secrets and fears with each other. They also talk directly to the reader, including them in the narrative in a way that will make them want to read until the last page." - Books + Publishing

2018 Aurealis Award Finalist for Best Children's Book


"Splendidly entertaining." -Kirkus

"The tale crescendos to an uplifting close that promotes honesty, bravery, and self-confidence." -Publishers Weekly

"A delightfully quirky story with nuance, depth, and a colorful cast of characters, this book begs for multiple readings." -School Library Journal, starred review

"Like a middle-grade version of Terry Pratchett's Discworld-fantasy adventure steeped in humor, with a touch of satire, and set in a whimsical secondary world of the highest order." -Booklist, starred review


"Moriarty’s fantasy is an intricate confection of a fairyland, busy with good-humored, imaginative invention. The personable, confiding voices of the two narrators, Imogen and Oscar, propel the novel along with a style as breathless with emotion as it is with unpredictable adventuring." ―Horn Book

“As always, Moriarty leans into the humor of her Pratchettesque world and its absurdities while managing to craft lovable characters and nail down poignant moments of heart. A furiously fun adventure.”

– Booklist, starred review

“Readers will enjoy the quirky questing tasks, including a high-stakes playground game, and the tricky vicissitudes of bright magic that opposes harmful shadow magic but has abundant quirks of its own. Grounding the fun is a more serious thread in which Oscar and Imogen realize the extent to which they have each been failed by adults in their lives and learn that it is okay to be taken care of instead of constantly caring for others' needs. The group makes a loving found family through their obvious affection and admiration for one another and much cousinly squabbling.” ― Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Nail-bitingly suspenseful and refreshingly witty.” ―Kirkus

The final manuscript is attached. Levine Querido (US) and Allen & Unwin (ANZ) will publish in September 2023. Guppy Books (UK) will publish later on.

THE EXTREMELY INCONVENIENT ADVENTURES OF BRONTE METTLESTONE has sold in Chinese - Simplified (Yutian), French (Gallimard0, Hebrew (Armchair), Italian (Gribaudi), Polish (Zielona Sowa), Portuguese (Asa), Russian (Polyandria), and Spanish (Planeta).