Mehdi Bel Abbes



The latest client of the John Jarrold Literary Agency is Mehdi Bel Abbes.

His debut novel is a coming-of-age epic fantasy entitled The Birth of a Damselfly, which is the first in a trilogy detailing the rags-to-riches story of Ahto Asviani as she struggles to navigate in an Empire without a sun, and a world on the verge of war – the Senarian Saga.


Einatria is a world in stagnation. After a long and bloody campaign, the sun has ceased to shine across the now-humbled Atrian Empire, yet blazes relentlessly across the free nations of the west.

Danger lurks in every cloud of smog. Ahto Asviani, like so many Atrians, is just trying to survive the aftermath of war, working as housekeeper to a den of prostitutes.

That is until a desperate act by the woman she trusts most thrusts Ahto into a new world of politics and gentry that might prove as every bit as dangerous as the last.

This will appeal to readers who have enjoyed stories such as The Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff, The Books of the Ancestor by Mark Lawrence, and The Poppy War by R.F Kuang – and an LGBT+ protagonist.


The author will be 25 at the end of June 2020. He was born in Casablanca to a Scottish mother and Moroccan father. He has lived and studied in Scotland, attending Stirling University, where he graduated with a 2:1 in Psychology. Currently, he works part-time in a cinema, sweeping under seats whilst he plots out the Senarian Saga. He says: “My favourite writers tend to be older, Victorian, which I think has definitely influenced my writing. Charles Dickens, Mary Shelley, and Arthur Conan Doyle to name a few. More contemporary authors I have enjoyed are R.F. Kuang, Mark Lawrence, and the great Ursula Le Guin.”


“Mehdi has never submitted short fiction, and this is his debut in all ways,” said John Jarrold.  “He has a remarkable voice, great invention and a great range of characters – look out for the Fae Siofra, who I love!”



• June 5th, 2020 • Posted in News