An alluring fierceness and charm will leave readers craving more.

SHIP OF SMOKE AND STEEL

From the Wells of Sorcery Trilogy series , Vol. 1

The first in a thrilling, action-packed fantasy series that epitomizes the fight for survival.

In the slums of the great port city of Kahnzoka, teenage ward boss Isoka is a ruthless money collector. All the money she obtains goes to support the life she has built for her younger sister away from the poverty and violence. Ancient magic has given her the ability to access the power of Melos, the Well of Combat, one of the nine Wells of Sorcery, an ability she should have declared to the Immortals years ago. When her powers are discovered, she is arrested and sent on an impossible mission: steal the ghost ship Soliton and return it to the Empire in one year’s time. Unfortunately, no one has ever returned from Soliton, but if she fails, her sister dies. Isoka must not only survive on the ship, but she must also find a way to reach the captain and take control. Wexler’s (The Infernal Battalion, 2018 etc.) young adult debut is a gripping, fast-paced fantasy enrapturing readers until the end. Told from Isoka’s point of view, readers get deep into the magic, people, and inner workings of the ship. This ever changing world of magic is beautifully constructed with tantalizing details that evoke a variety of cultural influences. The characters are well-developed, and diversity—in ethnicity, ability, and sexuality—is abundant. From gory fights to unexpected romance, this has something for every fantasy lover.

An alluring fierceness and charm will leave readers craving more. (map) (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7653-9724-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Tor Teen

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

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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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