The Rift is an action-packed YA fantasy full of heart-pounding romance from award-winning New Zealand author Rachael Craw.

When the Rift opens, death follows.

For generations, the Rangers of Black Water Island have guarded the Old Herd against horrors released by the Rift. Cal West, an apprentice Ranger with a rare scar and even rarer gifts, fights daily to prove he belongs within their ranks. After nine years away, Meg Archer returns to her childhood home only to find the Island is facing a new threat that not even the Rangers are prepared for. Meg and Cal can’t ignore their attraction, but can they face their darkest fears to save the Island from disaster?


Rachael Craw began her working life as an English Teacher after completing a degree in Classical Studies and Drama at the University of Canterbury. She dabbled in acting, directing and writing for amateur theatre productions and small independent film ventures. Her passion for dialogue and characterisation finally led to long-form writing with the Spark series. Rachael's enthusiasm for classical heroes, teen angst and popular culture informs much of her creative process. She enjoys small town life at the top of the South Island of New Zealand where she lives with her husband and three daughters. Visit her online at


Thrilling … A fresh and original story; a standout in the fantasy genre. The romance between Cal and Meg blends envy, desire and uncertainty with a potent authenticity. Written with a sparse lovely poetry, The Rift demands an immersion that is intoxicating. I can’t recommend this enough.

Isobelle Carmody, author of the Obernewtyn Chronicles and The Gathering

Gripping, brutal, tender. You won’t be able to put this book down.

Michael Pryor, author of The Laws of Magic series and Gap Year in Ghost Town

Beautiful, dark and deliciously tense – an astonishing world that will hold you in its finely wrought claws.

Alison Goodman, author of the Lady Helen series and the Eon series

A fantasy story with amazing world building, this is a step up from Craw’s other books. The characters are sophisticated, with serious backstory and plenty of angst…An involving and well-paced story, with some romance and quirky humor thrown in for good measure…I hope this is not the last we see of Black Water Island and its mesmerising residents.

Magpies Magazine

I found The Rift to be an unsettling read, as in I couldn’t preempt what was going to happen and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.

Sarah Says

I gave this one 3.5 stars, and was only sorry that I didn’t get to spend more time with Meg and Cal!

Bookish Bron

This action/adventure/fantasy/scifi/ romance/conservation novel, because it is all of these genres, is from an author who is at the top of her game. Rachael Craws language is the star of this novel. Her imagery, description and metaphor are powerful weapons that drive the plot and keep the reader in the book.

Bob's Book Blog

If you’re going to read one new young adults’ novel this year, make it this one!

Volume Books

Overall the concept was brilliant. The characters were brilliant. The writing was divine!

Blue Fairy Tales

The Rift is a high-octane action read with multiple complications and a little bit of romance. It’s the perfect escape-from-it-all read.

Kids' Book Review

Highly recommended. This was a stunning, original stand-alone story with a gripping narrative, strange world and heroic characters.


The Rift is wildly imagined and beautifully portrayed, a new direction for Rachael Craw that will no doubt enchant international audiences. She’s outdone herself.


Rachael Craw, you are a wonder. Your debut is smashing and you’ve more than still got it, you’re growing from great to rare. Definitely one of the best YA books I’ve read not only this year, but ever.

Striking Keys

The love-hate-love story between Meg and Cal will especially draw readers in, making this a great read for fans of YA romance and fantasy aged 14 and up.

Books & Publishing

This is a fast-paced novel with suspense and intrigue a-plenty, as well as explorations of family relationships, teenage love and heroics all cleverly interwoven. It will keep its readers fascinated until the end.

CBCA: Reading Time

I need more! This book was incredible and I need more… incredibly whimsical and original…

Reading Sumpton

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