Perhaps best read as a sendup.

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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An accomplished, exciting debut.

ALL THE STARS AND TEETH

From the All the Stars and Teeth series , Vol. 1

A princess embarks on a dangerous path to the throne.

In the island kingdom of Visidia, where each person is allowed just one type of magic, only the members of the royal Montara family have the ability to wield the dangerous soul magic. Princess Amora is next in line to be High Animancer, but she must first prove to her people that she is powerful enough to use her magic to protect them. But something goes terribly wrong during a critical public ceremony, and Amora runs away with dashing pirate Bastian, whose rescue comes with a price: She must help him recover his own magic, stolen away by a dangerous man leading a growing rebellion that could bring down the whole kingdom. Debut author Grace wields her own magic with a skillful balancing act between high-stakes adventure (here there be monsters, mermaids, and high-seas shenanigans), bloody fantasy, and character development in a story with a lovable found family at its core. Amora yearns for adventure just as she welcomes her right to command her kingdom; her ferocious sense of duty and legitimate need to do good shine through. The novel’s further unravelling of dark secrets long kept comes with a recognized need for accountability and making amends which adds a thoughtful extra layer to the rich worldbuilding. Amora has copper-brown skin and dark, curly hair; other characters have a range of skin tones in this diverse world.

An accomplished, exciting debut. (guide to the kingdom) (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-30778-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Imprint

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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An inventive, character-driven twist breathes new life into tired fantasy trends.

RED QUEEN

From the Red Queen series , Vol. 1

Amid a war and rising civil unrest, a young thief discovers the shocking power within her that sparks a revolution.

At 17, Mare knows that without an apprenticeship or job, her next birthday will bring a conscription to join the war. She contributes to her poor family’s income the only way she can, stealing from the Silvers, who possess myriad powers and force her and her fellow Reds into servitude. The Silvers literally bleed silver, and they can manipulate metal, plants and animals, among many other talents. When Mare’s best friend, Kilorn, loses his job and is doomed to conscription, she is determined to change his fate. She stumbles into a mysterious stranger after her plan goes awry and is pulled out of her village and into the world of Silver royalty. Once inside the palace walls, it isn’t long before Mare learns that powers unknown to red-blooded humans lie within her, powers that could lead a revolution. Familiar tropes abound. Mare is revealed as a great catalyst for change among classes and is groomed from rags to riches, and of course, seemingly kind characters turn out to be foes. However, Aveyard weaves a compelling new world, and Mare and the two men in her life evolve intriguingly as class tension rises. Revolution supersedes romance, setting the stage for action-packed surprises.

An inventive, character-driven twist breathes new life into tired fantasy trends. (Fantasy. 13 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-231063-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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