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Nocturna (Hardcover)

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Nocturna By Maya Motayne Cover Image
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Other Books in Series

This is book number 1 in the Nocturna series.

Staff Reviews

This book spoke to me from the moment I picked it up.  From the cover, to the beautiful world, and the characters full of spark and life, everything whispered to me, enticing me to dive in. What drew me in most was the fact that Maya Motayne wanted to create a world that she thought had been MIA when she was younger and looking for books to read. Set in a Latin-inspired land, a prince without a future and a thief without a face must team up to get something they both desire above all else. But to get what they want; they are going to have to defeat a powerful evil that wants to devour the world. Motayne was able to capture the spirit of both a character who had no roots, and one who was true to their homeland, and their people. Motayne beautifully blends language, culture, and magic in her debut novel. I cannot wait for the next book in this trilogy. -Victoria 


Castallan Crown Prince Alfehr, or Alfie, the prince without a future, is reluctantly preparing to assume his royal duties – duties he grew up believing would be his older brother’s, until Dez was the victim of a sorcerous attack. Finn, a thief with the magical ability (or propio) to transform her face into any other likeness, is dedicated to her autonomous survival. The two cross paths and objectives at a high stakes card game, where the prize is a collection of magical books that Alfie hopes will hold the secrets to bringing Dez back. When Alfie makes a sentimental decision to save his cousin Luka that frees the god of darkness, Sombra, whose release threatens the entire world with Nocturna – an endless night filled with the worst monsters, including human ones – the pair must reluctantly team up to make the most of their shared magic, an extensive library, and the royal cloak of invisibility to stop Sombra. Strong protagonists, an intriguing magical system, and a Latinx-influenced world all enhance this Indies Introduce pick. 

— Maryelizabeth

Summer 2019 Kids Indie Next List

“Maya Motayne’s Nocturna is the fantasy that you have been waiting for. With the sneaky cleverness of Stephanie Gaber’s Caraval and the moral grayness of Marissa Meyer’s Renegades, Nocturna offers up a tale of a brother in search of a way to save his kingdom, and a girl doing all she can to survive. This tale set in a Latin-inspired world provides just the right amount of magic and adventure, as heir-to-the-throne Alfie and shape-shifter Finn race to stop the terrible darkness they have released.”
— Jen Pino, Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, CA


The first in a sweeping and epic debut fantasy trilogy—set in a stunning Latinx-inspired world—about a face-changing thief and a risk-taking prince who must team up to defeat a powerful evil they accidentally unleashed. Perfect for fans of Tomi Adeyemi and Sabaa Tahir.

To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks.

As a talented faceshifter, it’s been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that’s exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she’s forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever.

After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can’t help but feel that he will never live up to his brother’s legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic.

But when Finn and Alfie’s fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan’s fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts.

About the Author

Maya Motayne decided to be a writer when she was four years old and hasn’t stopped writing since. Her first novel, Nocturna, was a Los Angeles Times bestseller as well as a #1 Sunday Times bestseller. Maya lives in New York City, where she pursues her passions of petting as many dogs as possible and buying purses based on whether they can fit a big book in them. To learn more about Maya, visit her website at

Praise For…

“What makes Motayne’s debut title singular and special is that her kingdom is Latinx, with brown-skinned, curly-haired people and Spanish sprinkled throughout…. Cinematic, plentiful action as well as intriguing protagonists will pull many a fantasy reader, and the richly detailed world will keep them reading.” — ALA Booklist

“This fantasy set in a Latinx kingdom explores the lasting effects of childhood trauma, the destructive potential of grief, and the redemptive power of love…. the stakes are high, Finn and Alfie’s reluctant attraction rings true, and a gratifying conclusion paves the way for book two.”
Publishers Weekly

“A promising debut with unique magic and two strong protagonists among a varied ensemble cast.” — School Library Journal

“This searing, magical Latinx-inspired fantasy pulled me in from the first page and did not let me go. I loved adventuring with brave Alfie and brash Finn, and I held my breath until the end. Nocturna is a magnificent debut, powerful and true.” — Julie C. Dao, author of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

“Nocturna is an exhilarating adventure, bursting with lively, inventive magic and characters who charmed me the instant they appeared on the page. If you want to get swept up in a story, pick this one.” — New York Times bestselling author Margaret Rogerson

“Fantasy fans will embrace the creative worldbuilding and welcome these flawed and multi-layered characters into their hearts.” — Cinda Williams Chima, New York Times bestselling author of the Shattered Realms series

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062842732
ISBN-10: 0062842730
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: May 7th, 2019
Pages: 480
Language: English
Series: Nocturna