The Merciless King of Moore High

By Lily Sparks

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When the adults of Brockton, Connecticut, morphed into gigantic, bloodthirsty monsters nine months ago, the students at Jefferson High barricaded themselves inside their school. Now eighteen-year-old Kay Kim is one of the Student Council members trying to keep her classmates from starving.

Kay has no poker face and can’t keep her mouth shut when she knows she’s right, so when she accidentally learns a secret that threatens the delicate power balance at Jefferson, she’s dragged out of the school in the dead of night and dumped in the middle of town in a secret assassination attempt.

But when a raiding party of cheerleaders from crosstown rival Moore High comes to her rescue, Kay finds herself among ruthless, hard-partying road warriors who have adopted the feudal trappings of a once-popular video game. Life at Moore is violent and cliquish, but everyone is thriving—everyone, that is, who survives the kingdom’s periodic monster hunts. For Moore’s beloved King Max demands only two things: absolute fealty and that everyone at Moore help kill the “dragons.”

If Kay wants to survive, she must be granted asylum at Moore—which means slaying dragons, not asking the wrong questions, and navigating the rival factions, love triangles, and political intrigues at court. But when Kay discovers a deadly secret that reaches all the way to Jefferson, her inability to hide the truth might spark the revolution that burns both schools to the ground.

About the Author

Lily Sparks is the author of Teen Killers Club, a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection, Thriller Award nominee, and YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant YA Readers, which launched a trilogy that includes Teen Killers in Love and Teen Killers at Large. Lily has developed TV projects for MTV, FX, and Amazon, written for the CW’s Reign and Paramount’s Heathers, and designed characters for Adult Swim’s Royal Crackers. Lily was born and raised in Norwalk, Connecticut, on which Brockton is based.

  • Paperback ISBN: 9781635830965
  • Ebook ISBN: 9781635830972
  • Reading Age: from 14 to 18 years
  • Interest Age: from 14 to 18 years
  • Paperback dimensions: 5.25 x 8 in
  • Ebook dimensions: 5.25 x 9 in
  • Publication date: Apr 23, 2024
  • Rights/Sales territory: Worldwide
  • Format: Paperback | Ebook
  • Pages: 368
  • Lexile: HL720L
  • Imprint: Flux
  • Subjects:
    YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Action & Adventure / General
    YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Fantasy / Contemporary

Reviews of The Merciless King of Moore High:

“Thematically intriguing with shocking twists.” —Kirkus Reviews

“[A] unique take on survivalism for fans of Michael Grant’s Gone series.” —Booklist

“High school gossip becomes court intrigue with fatal implications in this fabulous hybrid-genre world of medievalism, teen social dynamics, and survival horror, which explores the twisted power games that occur in all three. . . . Sparks deftly—mercilessly—explores what it means for teens to survive systemic oppressions, one another, and the end of the world.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Original, deftly crafted, and a fun read from start to finish, The Merciless King of Moore High by novelist Lily Sparks is action/adventure fantasy fiction at its best. . . . [A]n especially and unreservedly recommended pick for middle school, high school, and community library YA Fantasy Fiction collections.” —Midwest Book Review

“In this post-apocalyptic high school rivalry full of revolting human monsters, Sparks does a fantastic job showcasing the internalized and sometimes violently decided questions teens have about trust, loyalty, and friendship.” —School Library Journal

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