With this deeper tumble into the web, more intricate the weave becomes.

THE MISSING OF CLAIRDELUNE

From the Mirror Visitor Quartet series , Vol. 2

Illusions, treachery, and abductions abound as Ophelia’s perilous adventure continues.

With the true reason behind Thorn’s proposal revealed at last and the cruel extent to which the Pole’s nobility is willing to go to gain and keep power now starkly clear, Ophelia is in more danger than ever and must seek protection from the ark’s mercurial family spirit, Farouk. But every favor in the Pole comes at a cost, especially when it is a favor from an immortal with a singular obsession. Ophelia, with her talent as a reader of objects, is thrust unwillingly and precariously into the center of the court even as other prominent nobles begin to disappear under suspicious (even impossible) circumstances. When she receives anonymous threats demanding that she abandon her impending marriage and leave the Pole lest she die, Ophelia must decide whom she can possibly trust in a world whose schemes and illusions go centuries deep. The author continues her masterful architecture in this second installment as the arks, the family relationships, and the characters’ histories all gain greater depth and dimension. The “fragments” that comprise the mythology punctuating the narrative have shifted from intermittent mystery to fundamental memory underpinning the entire world history. Ophelia remains refreshingly awkward and clumsy, and, though unlabeled, she continues to offer a mirror to asexual spectrum readers. Major characters default to white.

With this deeper tumble into the web, more intricate the weave becomes. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-60945-507-1

Page Count: 540

Publisher: Europa Editions

Review Posted Online: March 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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A slo-mo environmental disaster story.

THE NATURE OF WITCHES

Weather witches confront climate change in this fantasy.

Clara Densmore is her generation’s sole Everwitch and is unwilling to embrace her powers. Unlike the male and female autumn, winter, spring, and summer witches, whose powers peak during their respective seasons, Clara thrives year-round. At the Eastern School of Solar Magic in Pennsylvania, 17-year-old Clara shuns friendships and only does short-term flings, as her love can be lethal and has already killed her parents and best friend. Losing her powers seems like the selfless solution, but nonmagical shaders have pushed the planet too far with their environmental destruction. Seasonal witches are starting to die amid accelerated natural disasters—and only Clara can save the world. A budding romance with magical mentor/visiting botany student 18-year-old Sang Park from California helps Clara bloom. Redheaded, blue-eyed Clara is cued as White, and Sang is Korean American—but race, class, and other identity-related concerns are rarely a factor in this world. Debut author Griffin unfortunately fails to breathe new life into chosen one fantasy tropes—the obligatory villain, the unavoidable romance, the overly dramatic sacrifice—but excels at lush and lovely descriptions of nature and the weather and delivers a stern, if heavy-handed, message about environmental consequences of modern living.

A slo-mo environmental disaster story. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-72822-942-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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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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