Untethered Sky

From World Fantasy Award-winning author Fonda Lee comes Untethered Sky, an epic fantasy fable about the pursuit of obsession at all costs.

Ester’s family was torn apart when a manticore killed her mother and baby brother, leaving her with nothing but her father’s painful silence and a single, overwhelming need to kill the monsters that took her family.

Ester’s path leads her to the King’s Royal Mews, where the giant rocs of legend are flown to hunt manticores by their brave and dedicated rukhers. Paired with a fledgling roc named Zahra, Ester finds purpose and acclaim by devoting herself to a calling that demands absolute sacrifice and a creature that will never return her love. The terrifying partnership between woman and roc leads Ester not only on the empire’s most dangerous manticore hunt, but on a journey of perseverance and acceptance.

Available from Tordotcom.

Suitable for teen and adult readers.

ISBN: 978-1250842466


  • Named one to the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2023 by The New York Times 
  • Named one of the 10 Best Books of 2023 by Slate

“Devastating and marvelous.”—The New York Times

“[A] powerful story of emotional freedom and learning to love without regret.”—Library Journal

“Exciting, bloody, and sneakily profound, Untethered Sky is a winning, single-serving adventure perfect for an afternoon’s escape.”—Slate 

“A perfect afternoon escape under desert skies with legendary beasts.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Fonda Lee wonderfully and brutally reimagines the mythic monster hunter with one of the most iconic and compelling literary duos I’ve ever read.” – Matt Wallace, Hugo Award winner and author of the Savage Rebellion Trilogy

“A delicious morsel of heart’s flesh, its story as wild and yet poised in its craft as a stooping hawk. Fonda Lee’s characters are so real, broken and raw that they need no crowns, no wars, no prophesies to enlarge them. They simply, believably are, and in so being, they sweep us into a story as magical and wondrous as it is deft. One of the best fantasy novellas I’ve had the pleasure to read.”—Christopher Buehlman

“A beautifully told story of a young woman, her magnificent, monstrous raptor, and her journey through grief, obsession, courage, and love.”—Kate Elliott

“Fonda Lee weaves an enchanted world of giant majestic birds, those who would bond with them, and the terrifying monsters they must pursue. In this beautifully spun tale, a woman driven by loss and the pursuit of justice will be tested by the limits of her endurance, and how much she is willing to sacrifice.”—P. Djèlí Clark