Even Though I Knew the End (Paperback)

Even Though I Knew the End By C. L. Polk Cover Image
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November 2022 Indie Next List

“Short, sweet, romantic, and full of secrets. This magical noir stars wonderful characters and so many twists and turns that I never knew quite what was going to happen next. A delightful ride, handbasket optional.”
— Lindsey Pattavina, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT


Winner of the Nebula Award!

Finalist for the Hugo Award!

Finalist for the World Fantasy Award!

A New York Times Best Romance of 2022!

C. L. Polk turns their considerable powers to a fantastical noir with Even Though I Knew the End.

“Eerie, sharp and fiercely bittersweet.” —The New York Times

A magical detective dives into the affairs of Chicago's divine monsters to secure a future with the love of her life. This sapphic period piece will dazzle anyone looking for mystery, intrigue, romance, magic, or all of the above.

An exiled augur who sold her soul to save her brother's life is offered one last job before serving an eternity in hell. When she turns it down, her client sweetens the pot by offering up the one payment she can't resist—the chance to have a future where she grows old with the woman she loves.

To succeed, she is given three days to track down the White City Vampire, Chicago's most notorious serial killer. If she fails, only hell and heartbreak await.

About the Author

C. L. Polk is the author of the World Fantasy Award winning novel Witchmark, the first novel of the Kingston Cycle, and the Nebula Award winning novella, Even Though I Knew The End. After leaving high school early, they have worked as a film extra, sold vegetables on the street, and identified exotic insect species for a vast collection of lepidoptera before settling down to write fantasy novels. Polk lives near the Bow River in Calgary, Alberta, in a tiny apartment with too many books and a yarn stash that could last a decade. They spend too much time on Bluesky.

Praise For…

Winner of the Nebula Award!

A World Fantasy Award Finalist!

A Locus Award Finalist!

An Ignyte Award Finalist!

A New York Times Best Romance!

An NPR Best Speculative Fiction Book!

“Eerie, sharp and fiercely bittersweet.” —The New York Times

“Noir and fantasy often seem to go together, but those two elements seldom uplift each other quite as well as they do in Even Though I Knew the End” —The Washington Post

“Bracing as a slug of bourbon, with a twist of pain on the drop—or is that hope? Polk’s back with a cold-eyed winner.” —Max Gladstone, New York Times bestselling co-author of This Is How You Lose the Time War

“Stylish supernatural noir with a heart and a thrumming pulse. I devoured it.” —Laini Taylor, New York Times bestselling author

“This is a must-read for those who like their queer fantasy with a little grit and a lot of soul (pun intended).” —Booklist, starred review

Even Though I Knew the End rockets along from the very first page, with the details of author C.L. Polk’s alternate Chicago revealing themselves exactly when required.” —BookPage, starred review

“Powerful, emotional, stylish and smart, Polk proves themself yet again to be a talent not to be ignored.” —Locus

Even Though I Knew the End is Polk at the height of their considerable powers: romance, enchantment, tragedy, and courage to the bitter end.” —Elizabeth Bear

“Readers who fell into recent Jazz Age urban fantasies...will love Polk's latest.” —Library Journal, starred review

“C.L. Polk twists the hardboiled detective subgenre into something new and fresh and enticingly queer. …[Even Though I Knew the End is] a thrilling, charming novella.” —Tor.com

“Vivid and charming with a touch of noir edge, but way more heart.” —Rebecca Roanhorse

“A layered exploration of love and power with genuine emotional stakes and a soaring, perfectly bittersweet payoff. It’s another winner.” —Publishers Weekly

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250375100
ISBN-10: 125037510X
Publisher: Tordotcom
Publication Date: June 25th, 2024
Pages: 144
Language: English