Boughan weaves a tale so mysterious and magical, harrowing and hopeful, with such deliciously dark villains, readers almost...

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CINDERELLA NECROMANCER

This “Cinderella” retelling stars motherless Ellison—Ella for short.

After her widowed father remarries, Ella finds herself now burdened with a dastardly stepfamily that begins to treat her as a servant. A secret passageway leads her to an ancient necromancy manual that grants her the powers to fight back against the abuse she suffers and that threatens her younger brother, Edward. Seeking solace at her mother’s grave one morning, Ella finds herself face to face with the generous, attractive, and heroic Prince William. But of course, when the royal family announces a festival to which all eligible women are invited, her stepsisters sabotage her. Here the story truly diverges from the familiar. To exact revenge on her stepfamily, Ella uses the necromancy tome to conjure spirits to do her bidding—but at great cost. As her brother grows more ill and frail by the day, Ella must look within to see if the monster she should fear is her stepmother or herself. Set in what feels like a largely white 19th-century alternative Europe, the tale is told in deliciously Gothic prose. Although the ending is drawn out a few beats too long and has a preachy overtone, what comes before is enough to keep readers glued for the resolution.

Boughan weaves a tale so mysterious and magical, harrowing and hopeful, with such deliciously dark villains, readers almost forget this is a retelling rather than a story of original beginnings. (Horror. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-946700-55-1

Page Count: 324

Publisher: Month9Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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Powerful, captivating, and raw—Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional

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CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE

From the Legacy of Orisha series , Vol. 1

Seventeen-year-old Zélie and companions journey to a mythic island seeking a chance to bring back magic to the land of Orïsha, in a fantasy world infused with the textures of West Africa.

Dark-skinned Zélie is a divîner—someone with latent magical abilities indicated by the distinctive white hair that sets them apart from their countrymen. She saves Princess Amari, who is on the run from her father, King Saran, after stealing the scroll that can transform divîners into magic-wielding maji, and the two flee along with Zélie’s brother. The scroll vanished 11 years ago during the king’s maji genocide, and Prince Inan, Amari’s brother, is sent in hot pursuit. When the trio learns that the impending solstice offers the only chance of restoring magic through a connection to Nana Baruku, the maternal creator deity, they race against time—and Inan—to obtain the final artifact needed for their ritual. Over the course of the book allegiances shift and characters grow, change, and confront traumas culminating in a cliffhanger ending that will leave readers anxiously awaiting the next installment. Well-drawn characters, an intense plot, and deft writing make this a strong story. That it is also a timely study on race, colorism, power, and injustice makes it great.

Powerful, captivating, and raw—Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional . (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-17097-2

Page Count: 544

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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Busy, busy, busy…with portents of doom.

CHAIN OF GOLD

From the Last Hours series , Vol. 1

Clare’s (Ghosts of the Shadow Market, 2019, etc.) latest is set in the Shadowhunter world in the 20th century’s first decade (with frequent flashbacks to the previous one).

Teenage offspring of the Herondales, Carstairs, Fairchilds, and other angel-descended Nephilim continue their families’ demon-fighting ways amid a round of elegant London balls, soirees, salons, picnics, and romantic intrigues. James Herondale, 17-year-old son of Will and Tessa, finds himself and his “perfectly lethal dimple” hung up between two stunning new arrivals: Cordelia Carstairs, red-haired Persian/British wielder of a fabled magic sword, and Grace Blackthorn, an emotionally damaged but (literally, as the author unsubtly telegraphs) spellbinding friend from childhood. Meanwhile, a sudden outbreak of demonic attacks that leave more and more Shadowhunters felled by a mysterious slow poison plunges James and a cohort of allies into frantic searches for both a cause and an antidote. Ichor-splashed encounters with ravening boojums and even one of hell’s own princes ensue—all leading to final hints of a devastating scheme to destroy the Nephilim in which James himself is slated to play a central role. Characters have a range of skin tones, but ethnic diversity adds no texture to the portrayals; there is a lesbian cousin who wears traditionally male clothing and two young gay men (one tortured, the other less so).

Busy, busy, busy…with portents of doom. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3187-3

Page Count: 624

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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