An innovative, entrancing account of a popular figure that will appeal to fans of verse, history, and biography.

VOICES

THE FINAL HOURS OF JOAN OF ARC

A multivoiced verse retelling of the last day of Joan of Arc’s life.

Interspersed with snippets from the transcripts of the Trial of Condemnation and Trial of Nullification are monologues in verse from the individuals surrounding Joan, in actuality or in memory, on the last day of her life. The expected characters are there—Charles VII, her mother, the saints who guided her—but also other, unexpected, choices—the fire, the arrowhead that pierced her shoulder, her hair, her virginity. The title cleverly alludes to both the voices that guided Joan and the cacophony of voices in the book, all of whom take various forms that heighten their individual personality. There is concrete poetry as well as poetic forms popular during and after Joan’s time: the villanelle, the sestina, the rondeau, and the ballade. Joan herself is ethereal, wondering, and poignant. The conceit works; the variety of voices and compelling verse bring the story to life and heighten the pathos of Joan’s death. Among her last words: “…the penetrating / pain will be my ecstasy in / knowing I was true; there is nothing / I have done that I would alter / or undo.” Compelling for pleasure reading, this will also be a valuable addition to language arts lessons.

An innovative, entrancing account of a popular figure that will appeal to fans of verse, history, and biography. (preface, map, author’s note, list of poetic forms) (Historical verse novel. 13-adult)

Pub Date: March 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-98759-4

Page Count: 208

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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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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Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.

THE CRUEL PRINCE

From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 1

Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.

Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black’s latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-31027-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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