Clever and enjoyable.

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BEWITCHING

This entertaining twist on "Cinderella" centers on a centuries-old witch who sometimes helps her friends.

Kendra’s family died in the plague in 1666, the year she discovered she was a witch. Throughout the centuries, Kendra occasionally uses her powers to aid people, but not always to good effect. So Kendra hesitates when she meets Emma, a girl tormented by her new stepsister, Lisette. Lisette, the Cinderella character in the story, turns out to be the evil one, with dorky, bookish Emma the victim. Gorgeous, talented Lisette cares for no one but herself and successfully, it seems, steals Emma’s beloved stepfather’s affections, her jewelry, her clothes, her room and her car, and she seems to have her sights set on Emma’s new boyfriend. Kendra, however, recounts several stories of magic gone bad, and isn’t sure she ought to intervene. When finally she does, the story takes a delightfully surprising twist. Flinn throws in retellings of "Hansel and Gretel," "The Little Mermaid" and "The Princess and the Pea," along with the overriding Cinderella scenario, and she keeps the narrative moving along in sprightly fashion. It all adds up to plenty of fun that should appeal to many readers, particularly those who will delight in seeing the familiar tales in their new clothes. It’s often touching, with an undercurrent of wry comedy, some history and a bit of a moral thrown in, as in any good fairy tale.

Clever and enjoyable. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-202414-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2011

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Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell...

SIX OF CROWS

Adolescent criminals seek the haul of a lifetime in a fantasyland at the beginning of its industrial age.

The dangerous city of Ketterdam is governed by the Merchant Council, but in reality, large sectors of the city are given over to gangs who run the gambling dens and brothels. The underworld's rising star is 17-year-old Kaz Brekker, known as Dirtyhands for his brutal amorality. Kaz walks with chronic pain from an old injury, but that doesn't stop him from utterly destroying any rivals. When a councilman offers him an unimaginable reward to rescue a kidnapped foreign chemist—30 million kruge!—Kaz knows just the team he needs to assemble. There's Inej, an itinerant acrobat captured by slavers and sold to a brothel, now a spy for Kaz; the Grisha Nina, with the magical ability to calm and heal; Matthias the zealot, hunter of Grishas and caught in a hopeless spiral of love and vengeance with Nina; Wylan, the privileged boy with an engineer's skills; and Jesper, a sharpshooter who keeps flirting with Wylan. Bardugo broadens the universe she created in the Grisha Trilogy, sending her protagonists around countries that resemble post-Renaissance northern Europe, where technology develops in concert with the magic that's both coveted and despised. It’s a highly successful venture, leaving enough open questions to cause readers to eagerly await Volume 2.

Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell into a family . (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62779-212-7

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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Powerful, captivating, and raw—Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional

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CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE

From the Legacy of Orisha series , Vol. 1

Seventeen-year-old Zélie and companions journey to a mythic island seeking a chance to bring back magic to the land of Orïsha, in a fantasy world infused with the textures of West Africa.

Dark-skinned Zélie is a divîner—someone with latent magical abilities indicated by the distinctive white hair that sets them apart from their countrymen. She saves Princess Amari, who is on the run from her father, King Saran, after stealing the scroll that can transform divîners into magic-wielding maji, and the two flee along with Zélie’s brother. The scroll vanished 11 years ago during the king’s maji genocide, and Prince Inan, Amari’s brother, is sent in hot pursuit. When the trio learns that the impending solstice offers the only chance of restoring magic through a connection to Nana Baruku, the maternal creator deity, they race against time—and Inan—to obtain the final artifact needed for their ritual. Over the course of the book allegiances shift and characters grow, change, and confront traumas culminating in a cliffhanger ending that will leave readers anxiously awaiting the next installment. Well-drawn characters, an intense plot, and deft writing make this a strong story. That it is also a timely study on race, colorism, power, and injustice makes it great.

Powerful, captivating, and raw—Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional . (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-17097-2

Page Count: 544

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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