A twisty plot examining fate and the power of forgiveness in a dark, magical world.

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THE BONE THIEF

From the Bone Charmer series , Vol. 2

Even with her two fated lifetimes knit together, Bone Charmer Saskia might find that her quest for vengeance will shatter her life…and her world.

Saskia’s life fractured into two parallel timelines when the bone upon which her fate-determining kenning broke. In uniting the two lines, she discovered Latham, an evil Bone Charmer, was out to obtain her bones and lost both her mother and her grandmother at his hands. Now, she is set upon finding Latham, who has her mother’s body and her grandmother’s bones, all the while dealing with memories from two very different lives. Thankfully, at the training center for bone magicians, Ivory Hall, she has friends to help her in her quest for revenge and in the bone games, an arduous series of tests of their bone magic skills. Saskia doesn’t know whom to trust, and she’s having trouble integrating her memories. Can she discern Latham’s plans and bring him to justice before he comes for her bones? Shields’ sequel to The Bone Charmer (2019) offers the satisfying and thrilling conclusion that was lacking in its predecessor. The duology is actually one long tale. Readers who navigate the somewhat confusing first volume will be glad they did, the last 60 pages here are the definition of un-put-down-able. Main characters seem to be white.

A twisty plot examining fate and the power of forgiveness in a dark, magical world. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 26, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-62414-9306

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Page Street

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 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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An accomplished, exciting debut.

ALL THE STARS AND TEETH

A princess embarks on a dangerous path to the throne.

In the island kingdom of Visidia, where each person is allowed just one type of magic, only the members of the royal Montara family have the ability to wield the dangerous soul magic. Princess Amora is next in line to be High Animancer, but she must first prove to her people that she is powerful enough to use her magic to protect them. But something goes terribly wrong during a critical public ceremony, and Amora runs away with dashing pirate Bastian, whose rescue comes with a price: She must help him recover his own magic, stolen away by a dangerous man leading a growing rebellion that could bring down the whole kingdom. Debut author Grace wields her own magic with a skillful balancing act between high-stakes adventure (here there be monsters, mermaids, and high-seas shenanigans), bloody fantasy, and character development in a story with a lovable found family at its core. Amora yearns for adventure just as she welcomes her right to command her kingdom; her ferocious sense of duty and legitimate need to do good shine through. The novel’s further unravelling of dark secrets long kept comes with a recognized need for accountability and making amends which adds a thoughtful extra layer to the rich worldbuilding. Amora has copper-brown skin and dark, curly hair; other characters have a range of skin tones in this diverse world.

An accomplished, exciting debut. (guide to the kingdom) (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-30778-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Imprint

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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