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EVERY GIFT A CURSE by Caroline O'Donoghue


From the Gifts series, volume 3

by Caroline O'Donoghue

Pub Date: May 9th, 2023
ISBN: 978-1-5362-2840-3
Publisher: Walker US/Candlewick

Magic and the bonds of friendship are put to the test in this conclusion to a trilogy set in the town of Kilbeg, Ireland.

Having figured out the evil workings of the cultlike fundamentalist Children of Brigid, Maeve, Lily, Roe, and Fiona are still uneasy with Aaron, one of the Children’s former leaders, even as first-person narrator Maeve is continually aware that she seems to be bound to him through her magic. This strains her relationship with Roe, her genderqueer love interest, just as their music career seems to be setting off on a promising trajectory (and as Roe begins to embrace using they/them pronouns). Further, Maeve’s overwhelming bouts of rage, in which she seemingly loses control of her magic, lead to problems between her, Fiona, and Lily. Readers will be swept up both by interesting magical elements, such as Fiona’s communication with her familiar, a magpie named Paolo, and the more ordinary, recognizable details of the changes experienced by a group of teens on the cusp of adulthood. This appealing blend of realism and the paranormal and the evolution of each of the characters in their own rights is as satisfying as the final reckoning with the Housekeeper, the seemingly malevolent magical entity that has plagued them from the beginning. Most main characters are White; Fiona is Filipina and White.

A smartly plotted end to an emotionally engaging fantasy.

(Paranormal. 14-18)