A wily young thief must use her wits to survive futuristic, alternate history Beijing in this Les Misérables–inspired young adult cyberpunk that is perfect for fans of Six of Crows and Fullmetal Alchemist.
When Zhong Ning’er takes the job, she expects a smash-and-grab burglary she’s doing to make rent and help out a friend. What she doesn’t expect: a sad-eyed army boy who dreams of insurrection, a former rebel leader trapped inside a secret lab, a group of aspiring revolutionaries who are first collaborators, then compatriots, and then, perhaps, friends.
But this is Beijing, nearly a hundred and fifty years after General Yuan Shikai successfully declared himself emperor in 1915. His descendants rule the country from their seat in the imperial city, their gendarmerie—the Beiyang Army—run the streets, aided by cyborgs and the Brocade Guard. Walls have risen, dividing the city into districts called Rings—nominally only by geography, but in truth by class. Earthquakes devastate the northern farmlands, crops drown in the southern typhoons, and all over the country people are hooked on a drug they call Complacency.
As a Sixth Ring girl who watched previous uprisings crushed brutally by the court, Ning’er isn’t much of an optimist, and she’s certainly no revolutionary. But that might not be up to her—as the stakes get higher, the time for passivity is quickly running out, and she must decide if she wants to sit idly in her cynicism, or embrace the breathless, terrible possibility of hope.
Andrea Tang grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, and currently lives, writes, and works in the Washington, DC, area. She loves martial arts in general and Brazilian jiu-jitsu in particular and in her spare time enjoys learning new sports and checking out live theater. Andrea is the author of Rebelwing and its companion novel, Renegade Flight, as well as Kingdom of Without.
"Clever, intricately plotted, and wildly fun, Kingdom of Without is the heist novel done to perfection. What a joy to step into Tang's Beijing; I never wanted to leave."
— Grace D. Li, New York Times bestselling author of Portrait of a Thief
"Sharp, sophisticated, and stirring, Kingdom of Without presents a brilliant tale of revolution crackling with action, wit, and humor and interlaced with moments that so poignantly explore what it means to be human — all set against the backdrop of a cyberpunk, futuristic Beijing. I am wholly in love with the gritty world and clever crew that Andrea Tang has created in one of her best works yet."
— Amelie Wen Zhao, New York Times bestselling author of Song of Silver, Flame Like Night
"A high-octane novel set against the stunning backdrop of an alternate cyberpunk Beijing, Kingdom of Without is an unmissable sci-fi adventure. I fell under the spell of this band of young revolutionaries whose desperate fight against incredible odds is filled with breathtaking action, love in its many forms, and the painful but enduring hope for a better world."
— Axie Oh, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea
"Wickedly clever, outrageously fun, and bursting with heart, Kingdom of Without is a razor-sharp story of heists, found family, and revolution that pulls no punches and beautifully explores how far we'll go for the ones we love and the world we want to build. This is Andrea Tang at her best."
— Rebecca Mix, New York Times bestselling author of The Ones We Burn
"This cyberpunk story with well-constructed worldbuilding offers a strong mix of wit, humor, action, and heart. Centered on revolution, the story addresses a range of social and identity issues.
A fun and powerful adventure for lovers of alternate histories."
— Kirkus Reviews
"With parallels to real-life opioid crises set against a futuristic backdrop, this fast-paced heist balances lofty ideals of change with snappy dialogue and pulse-pounding action."
— Publishers Weekly
"In a well-constructed world, Ning’er is a tough, talented, and sympathetic character, and Cheng Yun is charismatic and complex, aware of the ethically shady aspects of his double life. The pacing balances heart-pounding action with extended sequences in which Ning’er and Cheng Yun build their doomed romance...[h]and this dystopic-heist-romance in an alt-world China to fans of Marissa Meyer’s Cinder."
— School Library Journal