A fast-moving, engaging tale in what promises to be an epic fantasy romance series.


From the Birthright series , Vol. 1

A superhuman teen heiress must survive first love and her twin sister’s homicidal ambitions in this novel.

Seventeen-year-old Chancery Alamecha is an evian, a member of a genetically pure race in which humans are a corrupted subset. Evians can live for up to a millennium. They are faster and stronger than humans and can heal themselves from all but the most severe injuries. Chancery’s mother is almost nine centuries old and is ruler of one of the six evian families, to which human leaders pay obeisance. Evian succession defaults to the youngest daughter—in the case of the Alamecha family, Chancery’s twin sister, Judica. Chancery and Judica look alike but have very different personalities. Whereas Chancery is compassionate, Judica is cold and cruel. While Chancery daydreams about living in the human world, Judica trains in single combat (the evian way of settling disputes) and remains consumed by hatred for her sister. The protagonist has no ambition, but when her mother is murdered, having just changed her heirship document to name Chancery, everything changes. More than ever, Judica wants Chancery dead. Chancery must face her in a duel to the death or live forever in exile. She has 10 days to decide. She chooses to spend this time in New York, training with Edam, Judica’s former bodyguard, for whom Chancery has more than a crush, and attending a human school, where she meets Noah Wen, the debonair youngest son of a Chinese magnate. Will Chancery return to face certain death at the hands of her sister? And who will win her heart, Edam or Noah? In this fantasy romance series opener, Baker (Finding Liberty, 2019, etc.) writes simply but effectively in the first person, present tense. The evian world is immediately compelling, emerging naturally from the story and offering some nice points of difference from the more standard fantasy fare of elves and vampires. Chancery is a relatable protagonist, and the other characters remain distinct without drawing too much from stock types. The genre mix is not without issue—for some, the romance and fantasy intrigue will make uneasy bedfellows—but nonetheless the story swiftly progresses, deftly playing to the escapism desired by YA and new-adult readers.

A fast-moving, engaging tale in what promises to be an epic fantasy romance series.

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-949655-14-8

Page Count: 490

Publisher: Purple Puppy Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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A touching family drama that effectively explores the negative impact of stress on fragile relationships.


A middle-aged woman returns to her childhood home to care for her ailing father, confronting many painful secrets from her past.

When Mallory Aldiss gets a call from a long-ago boyfriend telling her that her elderly father has been gallivanting around town with a gun in his hand, Mallory decides it’s time to return to the small Rhode Island town that she’s been avoiding for more than a decade. Mallory’s precocious 13-year-old daughter, Joy, is thrilled that she'll get to meet her grandfather at long last, and an aunt, too, and she'll finally see the place where her mother grew up. When they arrive in Bay Bluff, it’s barely a few hours before Mallory bumps into her old flame, Jack, the only man she’s ever really loved. Gone is the rebellious young person she remembers, and in his place stands a compassionate, accomplished adult. As they try to reconnect, Mallory realizes that the same obstacle that pushed them apart decades earlier is still standing in their way: Jack blames Mallory’s father for his mother’s death. No one knows exactly how Jack’s mother died, but Jack thinks a love affair between her and Mallory’s father had something to do with it. As Jack and Mallory chase down answers, Mallory also tries to repair her rocky relationships with her two sisters and determine why her father has always been so hard on her. Told entirely from Mallory’s perspective, the novel has a haunting, nostalgic quality. Despite the complex and overlapping layers to the history of Bay Bluff and its inhabitants, the book at times trudges too slowly through Mallory’s meanderings down Memory Lane. Even so, Delinsky sometimes manages to pick up the pace, and in those moments the beauty and nuance of this complicated family tale shine through. Readers who don’t mind skimming past details that do little to advance the plot may find that the juicier nuggets and realistically rendered human connections are worth the effort.

A touching family drama that effectively explores the negative impact of stress on fragile relationships.

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-11951-3

Page Count: 416

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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