THE IVORY KEY

From the Ivory Key Duology series , Vol. 1

Skillfully weaves together political intrigue, complex sibling relationships, and magic.

Four royal siblings reunite, seeking the Ivory Key, a legendary object that could unlock an incredible source of magic and rescue their country from impending war.

For centuries, Ashoka has relied on magic to fuel its economy and protect its borders. But the magic is running out, and Vira, the newly crowned maharani, is desperate. A suspect in the murder of Lord Harish, Vira’s betrothed, shows signs of ties to the Kamala Society, a secret organization that sealed all the magic quarries when Ashokan provinces fought to control the mining trade. To unlock them and save Ashoka, Vira must retrieve the Ivory Key, but she requires the help of her three estranged siblings, who each have their own reasons for obtaining it. Vira’s twin, Ronak, wants to sell it so he can start a new life. Her half brother, Kaleb, who is accused of murdering his stepmother, the previous maharani, longs to clear his name. Her sister, Riya, who has not revealed her true identity as the rajkumaari to the Ravens, a rebel group she has joined, wishes to prove her loyalty to them. Raman’s immersive, enchanting world is rich in Indian cultural influences. Alternating points of view allow every protagonist to shine, and the epilogue told from a fifth perspective offers a tease for the duology’s next installment.

Skillfully weaves together political intrigue, complex sibling relationships, and magic. (Fantasy. 13-17)

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-358-46833-2

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Clarion/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

FIREBORNE

From the Aurelian Cycle series , Vol. 1

Full of drama, emotional turmoil, and high stakes.

What happens to the world after the dust from a revolution has settled?

Friends Annie and Lee were children from very different circles when Atreus killed Lee’s father, dragonlord Leon Stormscourge, ending the uprising on the bloodiest day in Callipolis’ history. For too long the dragonriders held all the power while their people starved and lived in fear. Nine years later, a new generation of dragonriders is emerging, children selected and trained on merit, not bloodlines. Their dragons are finally mature enough for them to compete for Firstrider, a position of power that can give Lee back a small part of what his family lost. However, not only is Lee competing against Annie, but rumors are circulating that some of the royal family have survived and have dragons of their own. Everyone will have to make a choice: Restore the old regime, support the First Protector and the new caste system he created, or look for a new way, no matter what the cost. From the beginning, this book pulls readers in with political intrigue and action. What keeps them invested, however, are the complex relationships between many cast members. Choices are complex, and the consequences for all could be deadly. The world is well fleshed out and believable. Annie and Lee are light skinned; secondary characters are diverse, and race is a nonissue in this world.

Full of drama, emotional turmoil, and high stakes. (author’s note) (Fantasy.14-17)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-51821-1

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: July 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

10 BLIND DATES

An enjoyable, if predictable, romantic holiday story.

Is an exuberant extended family the cure for a breakup? Sophie is about to find out.

When Sophie unexpectedly breaks up with her boyfriend, she isn’t thrilled about spending the holidays at her grandparents’ house instead of with him. And when her grandmother forms a plan to distract Sophie from her broken heart—10 blind dates, each set up by different family members—she’s even less thrilled. Everyone gets involved with the matchmaking, even forming a betting pool on the success of each date. But will Sophie really find someone to fill the space left by her ex? Will her ex get wind of Sophie’s dating spree via social media and want them to get back together? Is that what she even wants anymore? This is a fun story of finding love, getting to know yourself, and getting to know your family. The pace is quick and light, though the characters are fairly shallow and occasionally feel interchangeable, especially with so many names involved. A Christmas tale, the plot is a fast-paced series of dinners, parties, and games, relayed in both narrative form and via texts, though the humor occasionally feels stiff and overwrought. The ending is satisfying, though largely unsurprising. Most characters default to white as members of Sophie’s Italian American extended family, although one of her cousins has a Filipina mother. One uncle is gay.

An enjoyable, if predictable, romantic holiday story. (Fiction. 13-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-02749-6

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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