Readers will be swept along as Kaya determinedly takes control of her own future in this predictable if spirited series...

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SOULBOUND

From the Legacy of Tril series , Vol. 1

Seventeen-year-old Kaya is the daughter of two Barrons who were forbidden to marry; they are all in hiding when she’s discovered by her country’s leaders and forced into training at Shadow Academy, an isolated boarding school.

To her great frustration, Kaya isn’t of the respected warrior class, like her parents. Instead, she’s a Healer, able to lay her hands on the Barron she’s Bound to and heal his wounds, but not good for much else—a secondary role she’s not willing to accept. Since the Barron she was Soulbound to at birth is dead, the academy binds her to a wealthy Barron, Trayton, whose Soulbound Healer is also dead. Although Trayton is handsome and friendly, he’s not a rule breaker like the attractive, moody Barron Darius, a young instructor at the school with a mysterious background. Both Barrons will be needed to fight off the Graplars—the dinosaurlike monsters that keep attacking the students and that Kaya’s determined to learn how to destroy. Kaya’s rigidly class-structured, relentlessly embattled world is vividly sketched, and while the stock characters never fully spring to life, the slice-’em–dice-’em, gore-infused action keeps the pace brisk. A fictional swear word, "fak," obviously substituted for another expletive, peppers the text, an annoying contrivance.

Readers will be swept along as Kaya determinedly takes control of her own future in this predictable if spirited series opener. (Fantasy. 11 & up)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3723-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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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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Skip this uninspired entry into the world of medieval love and court intrigue.

THE BETROTHED

From the Betrothed series , Vol. 1

In an imagined setting evoking medieval England, King Jameson of Coroa pursues Hollis Brite.

The independent teenager makes Jameson laugh, but she lacks the education and demeanor people expect in a queen. Her friend Delia Grace has more knowledge of history and languages but is shunned due to her illegitimate birth. Hollis gets caught up in a whirl of social activity, especially following an Isolten royal visit. There has been bad blood between the two countries, not fully explained here, and when an exiled Isolten family also comes to court, Jameson generously allows them to stay. Hollis relies on the family to teach her about Isolten customs and secretly falls in love with Silas, the oldest son, even though a relationship with him would mean relinquishing Jameson and the throne. When Hollis learns of political machinations that will affect her future in ways that she abhors, she faces a difficult decision. Romance readers will enjoy the usual descriptions of dresses, jewelry, young love, and discreet kisses, although many characters remain cardboard figures. While the violent climax may be upsetting, the book ends on a hopeful note. Themes related to immigration and young women’s taking charge of their lives don’t quite lift this awkwardly written volume above other royal romances. There are prejudicial references to Romani people, and whiteness is situated as the norm.

Skip this uninspired entry into the world of medieval love and court intrigue. (Historical romance. 13-16)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-229163-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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