Timely and timeless.

Fifteen short stories refashion tales both familiar and obscure.

In this multigenre anthology, which opens with a nod to the mutability of fairy-tale narratives, the act of transformation is as central to how each story is constructed as what is being told. Whether by magical means, through physical appearance, or otherwise, the contributors—well-known YA authors including Anna-Marie McLemore, Stacey Lee, Alex London, Malinda Lo, and more—depict the arrival of change and how it is received. In Gita Trelease’s “In the Forests of the Night,” set in colonial India, the Indian and White narrator discovers a chilling secret about a tiger hunter’s trophies. The trans protagonist of H.E. Edgmon’s “Mother’s Mirror” finds self-affirmation and love despite parental rejection. A planet’s vainglorious ruler tries to escape Death in “The Emperor and the Eversong” by Tracy Deonn. Other themes include deception, desire, and vengeance, explored in stories that range in tone from the sinister undercurrent of Melissa Albert’s original fairy tale, “The Sister Switch,” to the cheerful recounting of clever trickery in Darcie Little Badger’s “Coyote in High-Top Sneakers.” Diversity in ethnicity, gender, and sexuality is represented in the cast, which includes a teen hacker with a carefully guarded name, a hijabi known only as Red, and genderfluid merfolk. The stories draw upon perennially intriguing themes, presenting tales in genres from fantasy and historical fiction to horror in a collection sure to please a broad range of readers.

Timely and timeless. (about the original authors) (Anthology. 13-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 22, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-80602-4

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2022


Ideal for readers seeking perspectives on war, with a heavy dash of romance and touch of fantasy.

A war between gods plays havoc with mortals and their everyday lives.

In a time of typewriters and steam engines, Iris Winnow awaits word from her older brother, who has enlisted on the side of Enva the Skyward goddess. Alcohol abuse led to her mother’s losing her job, and Iris has dropped out of school and found work utilizing her writing skills at the Oath Gazette. Hiding the stress of her home issues behind a brave face, Iris competes for valuable assignments that may one day earn her the coveted columnist position. Her rival for the job is handsome and wealthy Roman Kitt, whose prose entrances her so much she avoids reading his articles. At home, she writes cathartic letters to her brother, never posting them but instead placing them in her wardrobe, where they vanish overnight. One day Iris receives a reply, which, along with other events, pushes her to make dramatic life decisions. Magic plays a quiet role in this story, and readers may for a time forget there is anything supernatural going on. This is more of a wartime tale of broken families, inspired youths, and higher powers using people as pawns. It flirts with clichéd tropes but also takes some startling turns. Main characters are assumed White; same-sex marriages and gender equality at the warfront appear to be the norm in this world.

Ideal for readers seeking perspectives on war, with a heavy dash of romance and touch of fantasy. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-250-85743-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023


From the Once Upon a Broken Heart series , Vol. 3

Frustratingly slow and lacking in magical wonder.

Despite living her happily-ever-after, Evangeline can’t help but strive to recover her lost memories in this trilogy closer.

Evangeline Fox awakens in the strong arms of Prince Apollo, her apparent husband, who swears to protect her from the evil Lord Jacks, who stole her memories. Unfortunately, Evangeline remembers nothing of her long and complex journey in the Magnificent North or her past romances; only the pain in her heart lets her know something is missing. At Wolf Hall, Evangeline seeks ways to unlock her missing memories, including enlisting the help of a mysterious guard named Archer, even as Apollo’s behavior becomes more and more controlling. The pacing and plot feel stagnant at first, with Evangeline remembering things in flashes and moments of brief feelings, but things finally pick up once her memories return. With the point of view rotating among Evangeline, Apollo, and Jacks, there are few narrative surprises, but it’s intriguing to delve into the minds of an antagonist and a Fate. The story’s inclusion of the legendary Valors and the fantastical fairy-tale setting are unfortunately overshadowed by the love triangle’s dramatic tug-of-war romance. Likewise, the book’s various themes—power, hope, stories, and the nature of humanity—are of interest but handled in an unfocused way. The conclusion, at least, is satisfying, and it hints at future tales set in this world. Evangeline, Jacks, and Archer read white; Apollo has dark hair and olive skin.

Frustratingly slow and lacking in magical wonder. (map) (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2023

ISBN: 9781250851208

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2023

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