Another gripping, magic-filled installment in this rich contemporary fantasy.

THE GIFTS THAT BIND US

A group of Irish teens contend with their newly acquired magical powers while also navigating shifting relationships in this follow-up to All Our Hidden Gifts (2021).

Maeve; her nonbinary first love, Roe, who uses both he/his and they/them pronouns; and their friends, Fiona and Lily, have spent the summer honing their paranormal talents on the grounds of St. Bernadette’s, the private all-girls school where Maeve, Fiona, and Lily are soon returning for their final year. Maeve feels anxious both about Roe’s departure for college and his impending European band tour as well as about Fiona and Lily’s deepening friendship and plans to leave their small city of Kilbeg. She’s further plagued by encounters and strange dreams involving Aaron, the creepy, hateful leader of conservative Christian youth group the Children of Brigid. This smart, poignant drama is spot-on in its portrayal of a realistically pivotal time in these deeply likable characters’ lives as it winds its way slowly into the mystery around what supernatural forces are at play below the surface. The lengthy building of tension eventually gives way to unexpected twists, and the novel’s resolution is satisfying while also clearly laying the groundwork for a sequel. Main characters are White; the previous entry established that Fiona is Filipina and White, and there is realistic diversity in race and sexuality among supporting characters.

Another gripping, magic-filled installment in this rich contemporary fantasy. (Paranormal. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5362-2222-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Walker US/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2022

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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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Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell...

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SIX OF CROWS

Adolescent criminals seek the haul of a lifetime in a fantasyland at the beginning of its industrial age.

The dangerous city of Ketterdam is governed by the Merchant Council, but in reality, large sectors of the city are given over to gangs who run the gambling dens and brothels. The underworld's rising star is 17-year-old Kaz Brekker, known as Dirtyhands for his brutal amorality. Kaz walks with chronic pain from an old injury, but that doesn't stop him from utterly destroying any rivals. When a councilman offers him an unimaginable reward to rescue a kidnapped foreign chemist—30 million kruge!—Kaz knows just the team he needs to assemble. There's Inej, an itinerant acrobat captured by slavers and sold to a brothel, now a spy for Kaz; the Grisha Nina, with the magical ability to calm and heal; Matthias the zealot, hunter of Grishas and caught in a hopeless spiral of love and vengeance with Nina; Wylan, the privileged boy with an engineer's skills; and Jesper, a sharpshooter who keeps flirting with Wylan. Bardugo broadens the universe she created in the Grisha Trilogy, sending her protagonists around countries that resemble post-Renaissance northern Europe, where technology develops in concert with the magic that's both coveted and despised. It’s a highly successful venture, leaving enough open questions to cause readers to eagerly await Volume 2.

Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell into a family . (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62779-212-7

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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