Perhaps best read as a sendup.

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TIGER'S QUEST

From the Tiger's Curse series , Vol. 2

Break out electric fans and warn readers to schedule cool-down periods: Houck cranks the love-o-stat up another notch.

In this sequel, the hypersteamy romance kindled in Tiger’s Curse (2011) between American teen Kelsey and immortal Indian were-tiger prince Dhiren flares into epic bouts of agonized soul-searching, inane lovers’ games and “hot, melty, smoldering” (but still chaste) make-out sessions. Kelsey also has multiple opportunities to measure her chiseled “warrior-archangel,” her peanut-butter–loving “golden-bronze Adonis” against not only several mortal would-be boyfriends but Ren’s own nearly as hot and certainly more libidinous younger brother Kishan, also a were-tiger. The actual plot gets under way when, at length, Ren is captured by malign sorcerer Lokesh. Kelsey and Kishan flee from Oregon to India, then set out on an extended journey through hidden Shangri-La and other realms of myth in search of magical weapons to mount a rescue. Putting her background research to thorough use, the author punctuates Kelsey’s narrative with Hindu endearments and cultural information, plus encounters with such supernatural entities as the goddess Durga, fairies, wood nymphs, sirens, a gigantic snake (“I ssseennsse your purposssssse is not malicccioussssss. Perhapsssssss you will be succccessssssful”) and Odin’s ravens. A shocking, heart-rending, soul-tearing, dolorific, tear-starting, hanky-soaking development sets up further barriers to fulfillment in the next episode (due out in Fall 2011).

Perhaps best read as a sendup. (Paranormal romance. 13 & up)

Pub Date: June 7, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4027-8404-0

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2011

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Second installments in trilogies sometimes slump—here’s hoping the third book is a return to the vibrancy of the...

CHILDREN OF VIRTUE AND VENGEANCE

From the Legacy of Orisha series , Vol. 2

In this follow-up to Children of Blood and Bone (2018), Zélie and company are back, and the future of Orïsha hangs in the balance.

Zélie, now a maji Reaper, has achieved her goal and brought magic back to Orïsha, but at great cost. Grief and loss are strong themes throughout the book, compounded by guilt for Zélie, who feels responsible for her father’s death. Zélie and her older brother, Tzain, try to help Princess Amari ascend the throne, believing her family dead—but Queen Nehanda, Amari’s mother, is very much alive and more formidable than they could imagine. The trio join the Iyika, a band of rebel maji working to protect their persecuted people from threats new and old. Though the characters’ trauma reads as real and understandable, their decisions don’t always feel sensible or logical, often stemming from a lack of communication or forethought, which may leave readers frustrated. Though still commendable for its detailed worldbuilding, with an ending compelling enough to keep fans interested in the next installment, much of the book feels like navigating minefields of characters’ ill-advised decisions. All characters are black except for a secondary character with silky black hair, tan skin, and gray eyes “like teardrops.”

Second installments in trilogies sometimes slump—here’s hoping the third book is a return to the vibrancy of the first. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-17099-6

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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Powerful, captivating, and raw—Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional

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CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE

From the Legacy of Orisha series , Vol. 1

Seventeen-year-old Zélie and companions journey to a mythic island seeking a chance to bring back magic to the land of Orïsha, in a fantasy world infused with the textures of West Africa.

Dark-skinned Zélie is a divîner—someone with latent magical abilities indicated by the distinctive white hair that sets them apart from their countrymen. She saves Princess Amari, who is on the run from her father, King Saran, after stealing the scroll that can transform divîners into magic-wielding maji, and the two flee along with Zélie’s brother. The scroll vanished 11 years ago during the king’s maji genocide, and Prince Inan, Amari’s brother, is sent in hot pursuit. When the trio learns that the impending solstice offers the only chance of restoring magic through a connection to Nana Baruku, the maternal creator deity, they race against time—and Inan—to obtain the final artifact needed for their ritual. Over the course of the book allegiances shift and characters grow, change, and confront traumas culminating in a cliffhanger ending that will leave readers anxiously awaiting the next installment. Well-drawn characters, an intense plot, and deft writing make this a strong story. That it is also a timely study on race, colorism, power, and injustice makes it great.

Powerful, captivating, and raw—Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional . (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-17097-2

Page Count: 544

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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