A sucker punch of escalating evil, sizzling romance, and a spitfire coming into her own.

FIREBLOOD

From the Frostblood Saga series , Vol. 2

Ruby embarks on a quest to learn how to stop the murderous Minax, risking her life and her love.

In the wake of the destruction of the throne of Fors, Arcus has become king and Ruby remains in the castle, unsure of their future. Save a few friends, the Frostblood court greets her with disdain; she’s a filthy enemy—a Fireblood. She and Brother Thistle pass the time combing the library for clues about stopping the Minax while it roams free, possessing unwitting victims. At a royal ball, pale-skinned Ruby is shocked to meet another Fireblood. She learns the ginger-haired, olive-skinned stranger has come to offer her passage to the homeland of the Firebloods that she’s never seen—Sudesia. Not only will she be trained by Fireblood masters, she’ll hunt for the book that holds the key to destroying the Minax. Arcus urges her not to trust the stranger, and her departure creates a rift between them. Ruby reckons with more than she bargained for along her quest—uncovering secrets of her past and fighting their implications to become who she chooses to be. Brimming with new adventures, Ruby’s story shimmers and expands as she grapples with forces pushing her to obey. A new romantic interest sizzles and evil forces conspire, making for a thrilling romp through an engrossing world.

A sucker punch of escalating evil, sizzling romance, and a spitfire coming into her own. (Fantasy. 13-adult)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-27332-9

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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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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An inventive, character-driven twist breathes new life into tired fantasy trends.

RED QUEEN

From the Red Queen series , Vol. 1

Amid a war and rising civil unrest, a young thief discovers the shocking power within her that sparks a revolution.

At 17, Mare knows that without an apprenticeship or job, her next birthday will bring a conscription to join the war. She contributes to her poor family’s income the only way she can, stealing from the Silvers, who possess myriad powers and force her and her fellow Reds into servitude. The Silvers literally bleed silver, and they can manipulate metal, plants and animals, among many other talents. When Mare’s best friend, Kilorn, loses his job and is doomed to conscription, she is determined to change his fate. She stumbles into a mysterious stranger after her plan goes awry and is pulled out of her village and into the world of Silver royalty. Once inside the palace walls, it isn’t long before Mare learns that powers unknown to red-blooded humans lie within her, powers that could lead a revolution. Familiar tropes abound. Mare is revealed as a great catalyst for change among classes and is groomed from rags to riches, and of course, seemingly kind characters turn out to be foes. However, Aveyard weaves a compelling new world, and Mare and the two men in her life evolve intriguingly as class tension rises. Revolution supersedes romance, setting the stage for action-packed surprises.

An inventive, character-driven twist breathes new life into tired fantasy trends. (Fantasy. 13 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-231063-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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