A turbulent force driven by breathtaking, high-stakes suspense that resolves with a satisfying sigh.

THE STORM OF LIFE

From the Brilliant Death series , Vol. 2

In this conclusion to an Italian-inspired fantasy duology, Teo di Sangro fights to save her home from invasion and to free other magic users from living in secrecy and oppression.

War and domination under the Eterran empire advance on the land of Vinalia from the outside while the regime of power-hungry men wounds the people from the inside. Streghe (magic users of Vinalia), like the ambitious “sun-browned” Teo, live threatened by subjugation or death at the hands of the Capo, the tyrant forcing Vinalia to unify under his banner. Having escaped the Capo once, Teo and her lover, Cielo (a white genderfluid strega), seek to stop Vinalia’s cycle of violence. In the midst of sizzling schemes and fiery romance, Capetta (The Lost Coast, 2019, etc.) brings to light the pervasive damage that patriarchy inflicts on people and relationships. Another important theme throughout the progression of the conflict is that in war, “there is only a side that loses less.” The dialogue is witty and full of cutting exchanges. Although the story’s pace never slows, Capetta continues to expand on the world around Teo, showing glimpses of cultures beyond Vinalia and how magic changes based on who uses it. Wild with thrilling shifts and electrifying prose, this passionate storm carries the story to a worthy end.

A turbulent force driven by breathtaking, high-stakes suspense that resolves with a satisfying sigh. (map) (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-451-47847-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.

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THE CRUEL PRINCE

From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 1

Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.

Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black’s latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-31027-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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A powerful tale of found family and first love.

SOME MISTAKES WERE MADE

After a year away, Ellis returns home to confront her past.

Graduating from high school far from everything familiar was not part of Ellis Truman’s original plans, but she nevertheless ended up spending her senior year with her aunt in California. In Indiana, Ellis practically grew up with the Albrey family and their three tightknit sons, Dixon, Tucker, and Easton. Now, Tucker wants her to return home for matriarch Sandry Albrey’s 50th birthday celebration on the Fourth of July—but Ellis is dreading seeing Easton, as they haven’t talked since she left. Chapters alternate between past and present, and much of the story unravels slowly: How did she come to live with the Albreys? What caused Ellis to then end up in San Diego? What happened in her relationship with Easton? Patient readers will find the heartfelt tension pays off. With her father in and out of jail and an absent mother, socio-economic differences separating Ellis from the middle-class Albreys don’t go unnoticed, and Ellis’ down-to-earth journey shows how she unpacks her feelings about her relationship with her parents. The slow-build romance is swoonworthy, and young adult fans of Colleen Hoover seeking emotional devastation and unforgettable characters will find much to enjoy here. Characters read as White.

A powerful tale of found family and first love. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 10, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-308853-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2022

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