Readers will breathlessly anticipate their next venture into this exquisite world.

DARK SKIES

From the Dark Shores series , Vol. 2

An infernal threat rises in the west in this story that takes place concurrently with Dark Shores (2019).

Roguish Killian, son of a High Lord, has been marked by the god of war; under his command, trickery allows the enemy Derin (who worship the sinister Seventh god) to breech Mudamora. Killian is saved from execution by the king’s daughter, who claims him as her sworn sword—and brings him into her conspiracy to depose her inept father and save their kingdom from Derin’s foul magic. Meanwhile, Lydia navigates the political landscape of Celendrial, where her adopted status makes her position perilous. Her story begins slightly before Teriana’s arrival, continuing until her fateful encounter with Marcus—who has been ordered to kill her—before a leap of faith brings her to Mudamora’s capital, which is under an increasingly desperate siege. The magical elements of the story—from the miraculous works of the marked to disgusting blight and abominations—are seamlessly woven with storylines comparing the plight of common people to the complicated political games the powerful play. Responsibility is the grounding theme that unites the protagonists in their heroic strivings; trauma and the fully rounded characters’ emotional vulnerabilities take their tolls. Readers will be delighted both by further exploring the expertly crafted world and the story’s twists. Lydia is fair-skinned, Killian olive-skinned; race isn’t significant in this diverse world.

Readers will breathlessly anticipate their next venture into this exquisite world. (Fantasy. 12-adult)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-31776-6

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Tor Teen

Review Posted Online: April 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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A masterful debut from a must-read new voice in fantasy.

FOR THE WOLF

Twin princesses—one fated to become a queen, the other a martyr—find themselves caught up in an unexpected battle of dark magic and ancient gods.

Four hundred years ago, a Valleydan princess facing a loveless betrothal sought refuge in the Wilderwood with her lover, the Wolf. The legendary Five Kings—including her father and her husband-to-be—pursued them only to be trapped in the Wilderwood. Now, according to legend, the only hope of restoring the Five Kings to power lies in the ritual sacrifice of every Second Daughter born to Valleyda's queen. There hasn't been a second daughter for 100 years—until now. On her 20th birthday, Redarys accepts her fate and walks into the Wilderwood to become the Wolf's next victim only to find that the stories she grew up on were lies. The handsome man who lives in a crumbling castle deep in the forest is not the original Wolf but his son, and he wants nothing to do with Red or her sacrifice. Afraid of her wild magic abilities and the danger they pose to her sister, Neverah, Red refuses to leave the Wilderwood. Instead, she clings to the new Wolf, Eammon, who will do whatever it takes to protect her from the grisly fate of the other Second Daughters. Meanwhile, in the Valleydan capital, Neve's desperation to bring her sister home sets her on a path that may spell disaster for Red, Eammon, and the Wilderwood itself. Whitten weaves a captivating tale in this debut, in which even secondary characters come to feel like old friends. The novel seamlessly blends "Little Red Riding Hood" and "Beauty and the Beast" into an un-put-down-able fairy tale that traces the boundaries of duty, love, and loss.

A masterful debut from a must-read new voice in fantasy.

Pub Date: June 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-59278-9

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Orbit

Review Posted Online: April 14, 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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