The riveting, ambitious plot and strong, moral-yet-fallible heroine are a winning combination.

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SISTERS' FATE

From the Cahill Witch Chronicles series , Vol. 3

Tensions between the Brotherhood and the Sisterhood, complicated by a prophecy, come to a head in the Cahill Witch Chronicles trilogy’s conclusion.

Immediately following the events of Star Cursed (2013), Cate Cahill’s devastated. While she was liberating Harwood Asylum’s prisoners, the more aggressive Sisterhood faction succeeded in their devastating mind-magic attacks on the Brotherhood’s leadership. Worse, Cate’s own sister, in the name of protecting the Sisterhood, erased Finn’s memories of Cate. Additionally, Cate’s revealed to Maura that Tess is the prophesied oracle, a betrayal of her own. The sisters are just as fractured as the Sisterhood, now led by the Machiavellian Sister Inez, a compellingly rational villain. The Brotherhood’s in flux too, and the power vacuum produces a leader as ruthless as Inez. Inez is willing to sacrifice pawns (especially non-Sisterhood and nonwitch ones) to protect the Sisterhood (and her rule)—and the Brotherhood’s only too happy to help. Meanwhile, Cate makes contact with members of the actual Resistance—including a fugitive journalist—who are chiefly interested in promoting the common man, also oppressed by the Brotherhood. The alliance is timely; a terrible plague starts slipping through the city, and class distinctions greatly affect treatment. The tinderbox of oppression and power struggles create sparks enough for an explosive ending. Actions have real consequences, and the sisters’ believable dynamic leading up to the fulfillment of the prophecy is dead-on.

The riveting, ambitious plot and strong, moral-yet-fallible heroine are a winning combination. (Fantasy. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-399-257476

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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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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