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Universal has preemptively landed the rights to the upcoming fantasy novel Lightlark, written by author Alex Aster.
The studio will develop the project, which has franchise potential, in partnership with Temple Hill. Aster will executive produce.
Lightlark takes place on its titular island, which appears every 100 years to host the Centennial, a deadly game that offers six rulers a chance to break the unique and wicked curses that have plagued their realms for centuries. The story follows a younger ruler of a cursed realm, Isla Crown, who, according to the book’s synopsis, “must lie, cheat, and betray … even as love complicates everything.”
Lightlark, which was acquired as a part of a two-book deal, is due out Aug. 23 via Abrams imprint Amulet Books. The book will be published in more than 30 countries worldwide.
Lexi Barta will oversee for Uni, along with Jacqueline Garell. Temple Hill’s Annika Patton, who brought the book into the company, will oversee with Wyck Godfrey.
Aster, repped by CAA, Jill Grinberg Literary Management, and Myman Greenspan, is well known as one of TikTok’s BookTok influencers. (Her post of the Lightlark trailer has generated more than 20 million views on the social platform.) She is the author of the middle-grade fiction series Emblem Island.
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