A Lesson in Vengeance meets The Taking of Jake Livingston in this page-turning YA horror/fantasy set in dark academia about a queer Black teen who discovers the sinister history of his boarding school and the corrupt powers behind it all.
Regent Academy has a long and storied history in Winslow, Vermont, as does the forest that surrounds it. The school is known for molding teens into leaders, but its history is far more nefarious.
Seventeen-year-old Douglas Jones wants nothing to do with Regent's king-making; he’s just trying to survive. But then a student is murdered and, for some reason, by the next day no one remembers him having ever existed, except for Douglas and the groundskeeper's son, Everett Everley. In his determination to uncover the truth, Douglas awakens a horror hidden within the forest, unearthing secrets that have been buried for centuries. A vengeful creature wants blood as payment for a debt more than 300 years in the making—or it will swallow all of Winslow in darkness.
And for the first time in his life, Douglas might have a chance to grasp the one thing he’s always felt was missing: power. But if he’s not careful, he will find out that power has a tendency to corrupt absolutely everything.
A high-octane mystery of murder and magic for fans of Ace of Spades, House of Hollow, and Get Out!
Kosoko Jackson is the author of YA novels championing holistic representation of Black queer youth across genres, including Yesterday Is History and Survive the Dome. He also writes adult romance and works as a digital media specialist focusing on digital storytelling and email, social, and SMS marketing. His work has also been featured on Medium, Thought Catalog, The Advocate, and in several literary magazines. He lives in New York, NY, and you can visit his website at kosokojackson.com.
“A gruesome modern fairy tale like this bloody, romantic tale gets its claws in you right from the start. I loved it.” — Hannah Whitten, New York Times bestselling author of For the Wolf
“In this nonstop roller coaster of suspense and intrigue, Jackson has crafted a tale rife with terrifying thrills, a perfectly ominous setting, and a healthy dose of heart.” — Kalynn Bayron, New York Times bestselling author of Cinderella Is Dead
“Strange magic, mad creatures, and cruel curses abound in this eerie tale of becoming. This book calls to you sure as the dark forest calls to Douglas—and if you know what’s good for you, you’ll answer that call.” — Chuck Wendig, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Star Wars: Aftermath
“Magic, mystery, and murder combine in Jackson’s dark academia thriller that will have you jumping at shadows and eager to stay out of the woods. Sharp, visceral, and altogether stunning, The Forest Demands Its Due will haunt you long after the last page.” — Sasha Peyton Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Witch Haven and The Witch Hunt
“Jackson’s compellingly complex dark academia captures the magic that is taking life into one’s own hands, of who gets seen as a monster and who is afforded humanity—a riveting exploration of academic privilege that flips the ‘chosen one’ script on its head. Don’t you dare miss it.” — Victoria Lee, bestselling author of A Lesson in Vengeance
“A delightful blend of fables and curses. Readers will revel in the atmospheric prose and determined protagonist. Jackson pulls no punches, crafting a book that captivates and thrills.” — Emily Lloyd-Jones, bestselling author of The Drowned Woods
“An atmospheric horror mystery about refusing to be prey to the powerful monsters that are determined to swallow you whole. Jackson deftly explores what it means to truly end cycles of suffering and how the cruelest monsters are often not monsters at all.” — Aiden Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of The Sunbearer Trials and Cemetery Boys
"Jackson digs deep to weave together an exploration of generational trauma, moral corruption, and the power that comes from letting go of the past. A fantastical, queer, grotesque, messy story that fans of dark academia and horror will love." — Booklist (starred review)
"This satisfying and suspenseful genre-bender delivers an uplifting gay romance: It’s the perfect choice for fans of high-intensity action, surprising twists, and fantastically frightening creatures. A bold addition to queer dark academia stories.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Exhilarating. The pulse-pounding twists, riveting premise, and the enticing character dynamics formed amid intriguing magical troubles ensure that readers will want to follow along to the end.” — Publishers Weekly