Next book

WHEN NIGHT BREAKS

From the Kingdom of Cards series , Vol. 2

This gloriously spectacular finale steals the show.

Following the magical competition of Where Dreams Descend (2020), Kallia experiences a mirror world where it’s difficult to separate illusions from reality.

After falling through a mirror with her mentor, Jack, Kallia enters a dangerous underworld filled with illusions. Magician Daron Demarco desperately searches for her, hoping the trail will also lead to his lost sister who disappeared into a mirror years ago. His path is no easy one, and while looking for the Zarose Gate, Daron unravels countless secrets and mysteries at every turn—despite being blocked by the influential, supposedly peacekeeping Patrons who are led by his aunt. Meanwhile, Kallia and Jack end up in a bustling alternate version of the city of Glorian, created by the Dealer, a powerful magician who reveals that Jack is not what he seems. Though fierce Kallia has lost her magic, she joins a troupe of dazzling performers, all the while seeking a way to escape back to the true world. The stunning fantasy worldbuilding started in the first book continues to delight, but this time the rich, sensational world of the other Glorian offers even more to explore. Entertaining new characters, clever dueling magic, and a touch of romance cap off an unforgettable tale. Kallia and several other main characters are brown-skinned.

This gloriously spectacular finale steals the show. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-20432-5

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2021

Next book

POWERLESS

From the Powerless Trilogy series , Vol. 1

A lackluster and sometimes disturbing mishmash of overused tropes.

The Plague has left a population divided between Elites and Ordinaries—those who have powers and those who don’t; now, an Ordinary teen fights for her life.

Paedyn Gray witnessed the king kill her father five years ago, and she’s been thieving and sleeping rough ever since, all while faking Psychic abilities. When she inadvertently saves the life of Prince Kai, she becomes embroiled in the Purging Trials, a competition to commemorate the sickness that killed most of the kingdom’s Ordinaries. Kai’s duties as the future Enforcer include eradicating any remaining Ordinaries, and these Trials are his chance to prove that he’s internalized his brutal training. But Kai can’t help but find Pae’s blue eyes, silver hair, and unabashed attitude enchanting. She likewise struggles to resist his stormy gray eyes, dark hair, and rakish behavior, even as they’re pitted against each other in the Trials and by the king himself. Scenes and concepts that are strongly reminiscent of the Hunger Games fall flat: They aren’t bolstered by the original’s heart or worldbuilding logic that would have justified a few extreme story elements. Illogical leaps and inconsistent characterizations abound, with lighthearted romantic interludes juxtaposed against genocide, child abuse, and sadism. These elements, which are not sufficiently addressed, combined with the use of ableist language, cannot be erased by any amount of romantic banter. Main characters are cued white; the supporting cast has some brown-skinned characters.

A lackluster and sometimes disturbing mishmash of overused tropes. (map) (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2023

ISBN: 9798987380406

Page Count: 538

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 9, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2023

Next book

CARAVAL

From the Caraval series , Vol. 1

Immersive and engaging, despite some flaws, and destined to capture imaginations.

Magic, mystery, and love intertwine and invite in this newest take on the “enchanted circus” trope.

Sisters raised by their abusive father, a governor of a colonial backwater in a world vaguely reminiscent of the late 18th century, Scarlett and Donatella each long for something more. Scarlett, olive-skinned, dark of hair and attitude, longs for Caraval, the fabled, magical circus helmed by the possibly evil Master Legend Santos, while blonde, sunny Tella finds comfort in drink and the embraces of various men. A slightly awkward start, with inconsistencies of attitude and setting, rapidly smooths out when they, along with handsome “golden-brown” sailor Julian, flee to Caraval on the eve of Scarlett’s arranged marriage. Tella disappears, and Scarlett must navigate a nighttime world of magic to find her. Caraval delights the senses: beautiful and scary, described in luscious prose, this is a show readers will wish they could enter. Dresses can be purchased for secrets or days of life; clocks can become doors; bridges move: this is an inventive and original circus, laced with an edge of horror. A double love story, one sensual romance and the other sisterly loyalty, anchors the plot, but the real star here is Caraval and its secrets.

Immersive and engaging, despite some flaws, and destined to capture imaginations. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-250-09525-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

Close Quickview