An absorbing story with tantalizing hints of more to come.

BEASTS OF RUIN

After a perilous adventure, a disgraced warrior and a newly minted daraja must face the consequences of their actions in this follow-up to Beasts of Prey (2021).

Ekon and Koffi return, each having experienced life-altering events that have caused them to reevaluate themselves and their futures. Koffi awakes in Thornkeep, a strange land belonging to Fedu, the god of death. After she freed the Shetani of her splendor, Fedu kidnapped Koffi and secreted her away with other darajas he holds captive for their skills at channeling energy from the earth. Realizing he plans to use her as his weapon, Koffi finds allyship with like-minded darajas who wish to escape: She promises to guide them through the treacherous forest, and in return, they will help her learn about her heritage. Ekon has been hiding in the city of Lkossa with Themba, Koffi’s estranged grandmother, since learning shocking truths. He and Themba search for leads as to where Fedu took Koffi, and as they leave Lkossa, they meet a group of spice merchants who agree to let them join their caravan. Ultimately, both Ekon and Koffi will need to rely on their newfound communities to overcome powerful forces. Readers will be entranced as themes of heritage, betrayal, and erasure are brought to life with vivid details in this riveting, fast-paced volume that lives up to its predecessor. All characters are Black.

An absorbing story with tantalizing hints of more to come. (map, list of orders) (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: July 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-40571-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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Part coming-of-age story and part exposé of Duterte’s problematic policies, this powerful and courageous story offers...

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PATRON SAINTS OF NOTHING

Seventeen-year-old Jay Reguero searches for the truth about his cousin’s death amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs while on an epic trip back to his native Philippines.

Shocked out of his senioritis slumber when his beloved cousin Jun is killed by the police in the Philippines for presumably using drugs, Jay makes a radical move to spend his spring break in the Philippines to find out the whole story. Once pen pals, Jay hasn’t corresponded with Jun in years and is wracked by guilt at ghosting his cousin. A mixed heritage (his mother is white) Filipino immigrant who grew up in suburban Michigan, Jay’s connection to current-day Philippines has dulled from assimilation. His internal tensions around culture, identity, and languages—as “a spoiled American”—are realistic. Told through a mix of first-person narration, Jun’s letters to Jay, and believable dialogue among a strong, full cast of characters, the result is a deeply emotional story about family ties, addiction, and the complexity of truth. The tender relationship between Jay and Jun is especially notable—as is the underlying commentary about the challenges and nuances between young men and their uncles, fathers, male friends, and male cousins.

Part coming-of-age story and part exposé of Duterte’s problematic policies, this powerful and courageous story offers readers a refreshingly emotional depiction of a young man of color with an earnest desire for the truth. (author’s note, recommended reading) (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 18, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55491-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Kokila

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 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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