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Sir Callie and the Champions of Helston

(The first book in the Sir Callie series)
A novel by

“These heroes come in all shapes and skills—I cheered for them throughout their exciting journey.” —#1 New York Times bestselling author Tamora Pierce

In a magical medieval world filled with dragons, shape-shifters, and witches, a twelve-year-old nonbinary hopeful knight battles for the heart of their kingdom. A thrilling middle-grade series opener that explores identity and gender amid sword fights and magic, and proves anyone can be a hero.

When their ex-hero dad is summoned back to the royal capital of Helston to train a hopeless crown prince, Callie lunges at the opportunity to finally prove themself worthy to the kingdom’s "great and powerful." Except the intolerant great and powerful look at nonbinary Callie and only see
girl. But Callie has always known exactly what they want to be, and they’re not about to let anything stand in their way.

Trapped in Helston’s rigid hierarchy where girls learn magic and boys train as knights, Callie discovers they aren’t alone—there’s Elowen, the chancellor’s brilliant daughter, whose unparalleled power is being stifled; Edwyn, Elowen’s twin brother desperate to win his father’s approval; and Willow, the crown prince who was never meant to be king.

In this start to an epic series packed with action, humor, and heart, Callie and their new friends quickly find themselves embedded in an ancient war—and their only hope to defeat the threats outside the kingdom lies in first defeating the bigotry within.

Genre: Children's Fiction

Praise for this book

"[A] debut that balances lush prose with all-too relatable characters... Sir Callie is the hero I needed while growing up, and I am so grateful this story exists for kids today." - H E Edgmon

"A groundbreaking, magical story about fighting for who you are, Symes-Smith's debut paves the way for nonbinary characters to shine in their own adventures. Callie is a character every middle grade reader deserves to have on their shelves." - Nicole Melleby

"Sir Callie and the Champions of Helston is fierce; transmuting beloved classic fairy-tale elements with the fiery conviction that every person deserves an authentic expression of self. Symes-Smith has forged a razor-sharp story of bravery, emotional resilience, deep honor, and adventure!" - Ash Van Otterloo

"This warm hug of a book is a love letter to classic fantasy novels and a joyous celebration of found families, finding your place, and making your way in the world on your terms (and with your chosen pronouns). It's thoughtful, inclusive, and an absolute joy." - Jamie Pacton

"These heroes come in all shapes and skills - I cheered for them throughout their exciting journey." - Tamora Pierce

"[A] nuanced exploration of identity rarely seen in tales about brave knights and fearsome dragons. Symes-Smith has created a groundbreaking story with engaging, unforgettable characters, whose personal journeys will mean the world to so many young readers." - A J Sass

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