A fast-paced, compelling conclusion to this fantasy saga.

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SIEGE OF RAGE AND RUIN

From the Wells of Sorcery Trilogy series , Vol. 3

With the ghost ship under her control, Isoka is finally on her way back home in this follow-up to City of Stone and Silence (2020).

Isoka, along with her female partner, Meroe, and mage-blood friends Jack and Zarun, is on her way back to her home city, Kahnzoka. By capturing the Soliton, she has fulfilled her end of Kuon Naga’s deal and is ready to save her 14-year-old sister, Tori. Their plan to sneak in and out undetected goes awry when they arrive to discover Kahnzoka under siege and Tori, with her mind-control magic, at the head of a rebellion. But neither sister is the same person as when Isoka left on the Soliton, creating misunderstandings and complicated feelings between them. Their reunion is cut short when Kuon Naga’s Immortals, a group of elite mage-bloods, kidnap Tori. Isoka and her crew get drawn into Tori and the rebels’ fight to free their home city. Alternating between the two sisters’ perspectives, this trilogy closer dives deeper into the responsibility for and inner workings of the rebellion and conflict with Kuon Naga. Even with many intense action scenes and a storyline that keeps the pages turning, there is a greater focus on the strategy and politics of the Empire that fleshes out the worldbuilding. As before, the characters are diverse in ethnicity and sexuality.

A fast-paced, compelling conclusion to this fantasy saga. (map) (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-7653-9731-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Tor Teen

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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A gripping revenge story with enough twists to avoid becoming formulaic.

LORE

To get revenge for her family’s murder seven years ago, Lore must reenter a deadly contest from her past.

Leaving the conflict of gods and their hunters behind, Lore thought she had forged a new life. However, the Agon has begun again and brought with it an injured Athena, who promises her revenge on the one who ordered her family killed—in exchange for an oath binding their fates together. Lore must hunt down the god once known as Aristos Kadmou, with the catch that she only has eight days. Also, failure means the deaths of both Lore and Athena. Depictions of graphic violence and discussions of sexual assault are frequent, creating a tale as violent and unforgiving as its source material, albeit narrated through a feminist lens. Much like the heroes of ancient epics, Lore is a morally ambiguous but ultimately likable character, struggling to eliminate the monsters of her world while not falling into the brutality of her youth. She is contrasted with the idealistic Castor, her childhood friend and love interest, with whom she has plenty of chemistry. Bracken builds a rich world around a skeleton of ancient Greek mythology that is perfect to read on a dull weekend and sure to delight readers. Most main characters are cued as White; there are two men of color, both gay.

A gripping revenge story with enough twists to avoid becoming formulaic. (cast of characters) (Fantasy. 16-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4847-7820-3

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2020

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Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell...

SIX OF CROWS

Adolescent criminals seek the haul of a lifetime in a fantasyland at the beginning of its industrial age.

The dangerous city of Ketterdam is governed by the Merchant Council, but in reality, large sectors of the city are given over to gangs who run the gambling dens and brothels. The underworld's rising star is 17-year-old Kaz Brekker, known as Dirtyhands for his brutal amorality. Kaz walks with chronic pain from an old injury, but that doesn't stop him from utterly destroying any rivals. When a councilman offers him an unimaginable reward to rescue a kidnapped foreign chemist—30 million kruge!—Kaz knows just the team he needs to assemble. There's Inej, an itinerant acrobat captured by slavers and sold to a brothel, now a spy for Kaz; the Grisha Nina, with the magical ability to calm and heal; Matthias the zealot, hunter of Grishas and caught in a hopeless spiral of love and vengeance with Nina; Wylan, the privileged boy with an engineer's skills; and Jesper, a sharpshooter who keeps flirting with Wylan. Bardugo broadens the universe she created in the Grisha Trilogy, sending her protagonists around countries that resemble post-Renaissance northern Europe, where technology develops in concert with the magic that's both coveted and despised. It’s a highly successful venture, leaving enough open questions to cause readers to eagerly await Volume 2.

Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell into a family . (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62779-212-7

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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