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

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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Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.

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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A dark and enthralling journey.

VESPERTINE

In a land threatened by violent spirits, a girl with a haunted past unleashes an ancient entity from a holy relic and strikes a deal for the power to save her home.

Ever since the Sorrow, the dead no longer pass on peacefully. Without the intervention of the Clerisy of the Gray Lady, they roam as destructive spirits. Artemisia of Naimes, gifted with the ability to see the spirits, never intends to leave her convent, where the walls protect her from possession and (Lady forbid) social interaction. Her plans crumble when a group of possessed soldiers attack her home. Reluctantly, Artemisia unseals a legendary relic, binding herself to a revenant, an undead being with immense power. Untrained in controlling spirits and desperate to protect her home, she bargains with the revenant to help her. Amid escalating danger and an unfolding mystery, Rogerson unveils a grim and intriguing world with a rich, plot-relevant history inspired by late-medieval France. In addition to the White protagonist, the narration describes several secondary characters with brown skin; the revenant is identified as “it,” while human characters in this world adhere to a gender binary. Artemisia experiences dynamic character growth as her understandings of trauma, history, and morality shift. Although she remains socially avoidant, she learns to value friendship. A satisfying but open-ended resolution demands for the story to continue.

A dark and enthralling journey. (glossary) (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-7711-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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