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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A thoughtful and thrilling story of life, death, and meaning.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2016

  • New York Times Bestseller

SCYTHE

From the Arc of a Scythe series , Vol. 1

Two teens train to be society-sanctioned killers in an otherwise immortal world.

On post-mortal Earth, humans live long (if not particularly passionate) lives without fear of disease, aging, or accidents. Operating independently of the governing AI (called the Thunderhead since it evolved from the cloud), scythes rely on 10 commandments, quotas, and their own moral codes to glean the population. After challenging Hon. Scythe Faraday, 16-year-olds Rowan Damisch and Citra Terranova reluctantly become his apprentices. Subjected to killcraft training, exposed to numerous executions, and discouraged from becoming allies or lovers, the two find themselves engaged in a fatal competition but equally determined to fight corruption and cruelty. The vivid and often violent action unfolds slowly, anchored in complex worldbuilding and propelled by political machinations and existential musings. Scythes’ journal entries accompany Rowan’s and Citra’s dual and dueling narratives, revealing both personal struggles and societal problems. The futuristic post–2042 MidMerican world is both dystopia and utopia, free of fear, unexpected death, and blatant racism—multiracial main characters discuss their diverse ethnic percentages rather than purity—but also lacking creativity, emotion, and purpose. Elegant and elegiac, brooding but imbued with gallows humor, Shusterman’s dark tale thrusts realistic, likable teens into a surreal situation and raises deep philosophic questions.

A thoughtful and thrilling story of life, death, and meaning. (Science fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4424-7242-6

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

Will leave readers begging for the sequel.

KING OF SCARS

From the King of Scars Duology series , Vol. 1

In this Grishaverse novel, King Nikolai struggles to keep his kingdom afloat in a destabilized, rapidly changing world.

Though Ravka’s civil war ended three years ago, Ravka still faces threats both domestic—pretenders to the throne, policies that are popular with commoners but anger nobility—and external—old enemies like Fjerda, debts owed to Kerch. Worse, for the past 6 months Nikolai has been struggling with an enemy inside himself: The monstrous curse thought ended by the death of the Darkling re-emerges when he sleeps, posing a danger to his people, crown, and soul. With traveling becoming too risky given his secrets, Nikolai and his inner circle hatch a display of strength that will bring the other powers to him for diplomacy, using the cover of his seeking a queen. Meanwhile, in the months since the end of Crooked Kingdom (2016), grieving Nina has returned to Fjerda on a mission to rescue and recruit Grisha. Following the call of her changed abilities, she’s drawn to an area with poisoned waters and a mysterious factory holding dark secrets. Multiple romantic storylines among the multiethnic cast develop organically and don’t pull the focus away from keeping up with the plots. Strategically-deployed backstory makes already likable characters even more compelling; international political developments (especially with Grisha experimentation) are woven seamlessly in with the epic themes.

Will leave readers begging for the sequel. (cast, maps) (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 29, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-14228-3

Page Count: 528

Publisher: Imprint

Review Posted Online: Jan. 14, 2019

Did you like this book?

more