Simply stunning.

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SEVEN ENDLESS FORESTS

This stand-alone companion to Tucholke’s The Boneless Mercies (2018) reimagines the legend of King Arthur—with a twist.

Eighteen-year-old narrator Torvi and her 14-year-old sister, Morgunn, are the only survivors of the devastating plague that swept through their steading. Torvi especially aches for her mother and Viggo, the shepherd who captured her heart. The arrival of a druid named Gyda shatters their quiet existence: She claims to be on a quest for a magical sword and that Uther, the fearsome wolf-queen of the feral wolf-priests, can lead her to it. The sisters jump at the chance to join her. Torvi’s mother always told her that she was too softhearted and not destined for greatness, but Viggo insisted that she smelled of “dark forests, of gloomy caves, of exotic spices, of danger, of battle, of sacrifice, of hard-won victory.” When Morgunn is kidnapped by Uther and her pack, Torvi vows to rescue her. Joined by a band of wandering, knife-wielding artisans, they set out for the long journey, picking up new quests and allies along the way. Tucholke delivers exquisite worldbuilding and imaginative characters, and Torvi’s tale is packed with peril and no small amount of sacrifice—even a touch of romance. Her story also speaks to the joy found in spending time with loyal friends as well as the power and magic of storytelling. Readers won’t want this one to end. All characters seem to be white.

Simply stunning. (map) (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-374-30709-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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Second installments in trilogies sometimes slump—here’s hoping the third book is a return to the vibrancy of the...

CHILDREN OF VIRTUE AND VENGEANCE

From the Legacy of Orisha series , Vol. 2

In this follow-up to Children of Blood and Bone (2018), Zélie and company are back, and the future of Orïsha hangs in the balance.

Zélie, now a maji Reaper, has achieved her goal and brought magic back to Orïsha, but at great cost. Grief and loss are strong themes throughout the book, compounded by guilt for Zélie, who feels responsible for her father’s death. Zélie and her older brother, Tzain, try to help Princess Amari ascend the throne, believing her family dead—but Queen Nehanda, Amari’s mother, is very much alive and more formidable than they could imagine. The trio join the Iyika, a band of rebel maji working to protect their persecuted people from threats new and old. Though the characters’ trauma reads as real and understandable, their decisions don’t always feel sensible or logical, often stemming from a lack of communication or forethought, which may leave readers frustrated. Though still commendable for its detailed worldbuilding, with an ending compelling enough to keep fans interested in the next installment, much of the book feels like navigating minefields of characters’ ill-advised decisions. All characters are black except for a secondary character with silky black hair, tan skin, and gray eyes “like teardrops.”

Second installments in trilogies sometimes slump—here’s hoping the third book is a return to the vibrancy of the first. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-17099-6

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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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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