There was Malaysian magic present the British Fantasy Awards yesterday (Sept 25). Selangor-born Zen Cho was voted Best Newcomer for her book, Sorcerer To The Crown, at the awards held at FantasyCon 2016 in Scarborough, England.

The book is set in Regency-era London and sees Zacharias Wythe, England’s first African Sorcerer Royal, attempting to discover why the country’s magical stocks are drying up. Published by Macmillan, it is the first story in Cho’s Sorcerer Royal historical fiction trilogy.

She beat The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, The Vagrant Peter Newman, The Heir To The North by Steven Poore, and When The Heavens Fall by Marc Turner. Sorcerer To The Crown was also nominated for Best Fantasy Novel, but that award went to Naomi Novik’s Uprooted.

Cho, 30, currently resides in London and was the first Malaysian to receive the William L Crawford Fantasy Award from the International Association For The Fantastic In The Arts, for her book Spirits Abroad, a collection of short stories within the speculative fiction genre. She was also the editor of Cyberpunk: Malaysia, a collection of science fiction stories published by Fixi Novo.

Previously known as the August Derleth Fantasy Awards, the British Fantasy Awards were first awarded in 1972, and are presented annually by the British Fantasy Society. Winners are decided through a combination of voting and juries.

WIN A SIGNED COPY OF SORCERER TO THE CROWN!
To celebrate Zen Cho’s victory, we’ve got five more autographed copies of Sorcerer To The Crown to give away. All you have to do is watch the award-winning author read from her novel in the video above, and then answer this question: Which part of the book does she read? 

You also need to complete this thought: I can’t wait to read this book myself because… (in no more than 20 words). 

Email your answers to star2@thestar.com.my, and include your full name, complete home or office address, mobile or phone numbers, and your MyKad number. Don’t forget to add this to your subject field: Because reading is fundamental. Closing date for all entries is Friday, October 7,  2016.