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THE GRIMOIRE OF GRAVE FATES by Hanna Alkaf Kirkus Star


edited by Hanna Alkaf & Margaret Owen

Pub Date: June 6th, 2023
ISBN: 9780593427453
Publisher: Delacorte

In a magical school packed with chosen ones, a teacher is murdered.

Galileo Academy for the Extraordinary educates future Sorcerers and prides itself on its diverse student body and outreach initiatives. Or so it claims—though, for the nonlegacy students from previously underrepresented backgrounds, the reality is grim. Professor Dropwort, for example, is a transphobic, racist, sexist, ableist bigot, and nobody particularly minds when he’s brutally murdered. Alas, it’s predictable which demographics the school administrators treat as suspects. In skillfully interwoven chapters, each written by a different author representing a breadth of powerhouse voices, 18 young adults try to protect themselves. From the moment Marieke Nijkamp’s Wren, a nonbinary, disabled necromancer who’s been bullied by Dropwort, finds the body, everything changes. Most of the students believe they are required to fulfill some kind of sacred quest, from Mason Deaver’s Maxwell, a trans boy who’s cursed with an actual prophecy, to Kat Cho’s Jia, a Korean overachiever, who needs to be the hero to feel worthy of her parents’ love. But the students aren’t at odds with one another, although they’re all preoccupied with their own fears. Every teen is the main character of their own corner of the story, each equally responsible for pushing Galileo to live up to its principles. The many individual voices are threaded together well, leading up to a conclusion that is cohesive and actively empowering.

Eighteen heroes, individual yet not alone, beautifully find self-respect and force their school to change.

(Fantasy mystery. 12-18)