Once There Was

Cover of Once There Was by Kiyash Monsef

Once There Was

Kiyash Monsef
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A dazzling debut for older readers aged 12+

Discover a world of extraordinary beasts and unexplained heroes in this New York Times bestseller

Once There Was is a gripping fantasy brimful with mythical creatures and perfect for fans of Philip Pullman, Neil Gaiman and A.F. Steadman. This beautiful hardback edition makes a great gift for young bookworms.


Once was, once wasn’t . . .

So began the stories Marjan’s father told her as a little girl – tales of mythical beasts that filled her with curiosity and wonder: Griffons. Unicorns. Dragons.

But Marjan is not a little girl anymore. After her father’s sudden death, she is trying to hold it all together: her schoolwork, her friendships and her dad’s struggling veterinary practice. But a mysterious visitor soon reveals that Marjan’s father was no ordinary vet. The creatures from his stories are real – and he travelled the world to care for them.

Stepping into a secret world hidden in plain sight, where magical creatures are bought and sold, treasured and trapped, Marjan must take her father’s place. The deeper in she gets, the closer she comes to a shocking truth that will put both humans and beasts in terrible danger.

Kiyash Monsef is an Emmy Award–nominated producer and director and a writer of short stories, videos, comic books, and games.

Number of pages: 416
Reading age guide: 12 to 14 years
Publication date: 4th April 2023
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781398520400
Format: Hardback

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