Full measures indeed of love and suffering…and bloodshed too: Fans will sail through and clamor for more.

CHAIN OF IRON

From the Last Hours series , Vol. 2

Both warring hearts and (literally) fiendish schemes keep the upcoming generation of demon-fighting Shadowhunters on their toes in this midtrilogy doorstopper.

Set in 1903 and centered on a love triangle involving the well-bred offspring of part-angel Nephilim last met in the Infernal Devices series, this episode carries on from Chain of Gold (2020) as golden-eyed James Herondale and Persian/British Cordelia Carstairs, wielder of the legendary blade Cortana, are wed in what—due to the workings of various spells and ill-concealed feelings—they think will be only a marriage of convenience while third-wheel Grace Blackthorn uses her power to cloud people’s minds and further the machinations of her deranged foster mother. Meanwhile, with Nephilim suddenly being slaughtered Jack the Ripper–style and other mysterious doings in the background, friendships are tested amid the efforts of supporting cast members to follow the leads in chaste but steamy couplings, requited and otherwise, same-sex and otherwise, even living and…otherwise. A brief but desperate climactic battle drives off a demonic incursion, but worse is plainly to come. “The gods are walking,” a character remarks, “and none of us are prepared.” Also, as an emotionally wracked James reflects in the aftermath, “We suffer for love because love is worth it.” The wealthy, cosmopolitan cast of Londoners includes some ethnic diversity. Illustrations not seen.

Full measures indeed of love and suffering…and bloodshed too: Fans will sail through and clamor for more. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3190-3

Page Count: 624

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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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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How can such a hefty tome be un-put-down-able excitement from beginning to end? (glossary) (Fantasy. 14 & up)

CROOKED KINGDOM

From the Six of Crows series , Vol. 2

This hefty sequel to Six of Crows (2015) brings high-tension conclusions to the many intertwined intrigues of Ketterdam.

It's time for revenge—has been ever since old-before-his-time crook Kaz and his friends were double-crossed by the merchant princes of Ketterdam, an early-industrial Amsterdam-like fantasy city filled to the brim with crime and corruption. Disabled, infuriated, and perpetually scheming Kaz, the light-skinned teen mastermind, coordinates the efforts to rescue Inej. Though Kaz is loath to admit weakness, Inej is his, for he can't bear any harm come to the knife-wielding, brown-skinned Suli acrobat. Their team is rounded out by Wylan, a light-skinned chemist and musician whose merchant father tried to have him murdered and who can't read due to a print disability; Wylan's brown-skinned biracial boyfriend, Jesper, a flirtatious gambler with ADHD; Nina, the pale brunette Grisha witch and recovering addict from Russia-like Ravka; Matthias, Nina's national enemy and great love, a big, white, blond drüskelle warrior from the cold northern lands; and Kuwei, the rescued Shu boy everyone wants to kidnap. Can these kids rescue everyone who needs rescuing in Ketterdam's vile political swamp? This is dark and violent—one notable scene features a parade of teens armed with revolvers, rifles, pistols, explosives, and flash bombs—but gut-wrenchingly genuine. Astonishingly, Bardugo keeps all these balls in the air over the 500-plus pages of narrative.

How can such a hefty tome be un-put-down-able excitement from beginning to end? (glossary) (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-213-4

Page Count: 560

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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