DAUGHTERS OF JUBILATION

A compelling story of first love and battling racism with a magical twist.

A Black teen learns more about her family’s magical abilities in the Jim Crow South.

When Evalene hit puberty, Mama revealed that menstruation brought an additional type of power. Since before the time of slavery, the Deschamps women have been gifted with magical abilities, called Jubilation. Although Evvie doesn’t know why they have this magic or what her mind will do, she can usually tell when something is coming by the onset of a painful headache. During the summer of 1962, Evvie spends her days babysitting a White child and the evenings taking care of her twin sisters. When Evvie begins a relationship with her longtime crush, she starts to lose command of her powers more frequently, and she seeks out her Grammie Atti to learn to control the jubin’. Evvie learns that the women in her family—and many other Black families—have been gifted with Jubilation as a tool for survival against predators. The magic feeds off intense emotions, including love and anger. When a dangerous White man from Evvie’s past returns to town, she must use the power within her to fight for her loved ones. The story is well paced and suspenseful, and the magic that is Jubilation is wonderfully creative. The exploration of home, and the reflection on how a place where you can’t be safe can nevertheless be called home, is powerful.

A compelling story of first love and battling racism with a magical twist. (Historical fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5950-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 10


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

DIVINE RIVALS

Ideal for readers seeking perspectives on war, with a heavy dash of romance and touch of fantasy.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 10


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

A war between gods plays havoc with mortals and their everyday lives.

In a time of typewriters and steam engines, Iris Winnow awaits word from her older brother, who has enlisted on the side of Enva the Skyward goddess. Alcohol abuse led to her mother’s losing her job, and Iris has dropped out of school and found work utilizing her writing skills at the Oath Gazette. Hiding the stress of her home issues behind a brave face, Iris competes for valuable assignments that may one day earn her the coveted columnist position. Her rival for the job is handsome and wealthy Roman Kitt, whose prose entrances her so much she avoids reading his articles. At home, she writes cathartic letters to her brother, never posting them but instead placing them in her wardrobe, where they vanish overnight. One day Iris receives a reply, which, along with other events, pushes her to make dramatic life decisions. Magic plays a quiet role in this story, and readers may for a time forget there is anything supernatural going on. This is more of a wartime tale of broken families, inspired youths, and higher powers using people as pawns. It flirts with clichéd tropes but also takes some startling turns. Main characters are assumed White; same-sex marriages and gender equality at the warfront appear to be the norm in this world.

Ideal for readers seeking perspectives on war, with a heavy dash of romance and touch of fantasy. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-250-85743-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023

RUTHLESS VOWS

From the Letters of Enchantment series , Vol. 2

The well-paced romantic tension is a highlight of this enjoyable duology closer.

Even a war driven by gods can’t sever communication between journalist lovers Iris and Roman in this steampunk-adjacent romantic adventure.

A prologue sets the scene: Dacre, a god strummed to sleep by magic in Divine Rivals (2023), will not slumber forever. His willingness to wage war to acquire more powerful magic leads him to lay waste to entire towns, and Inkridden Tribune journalist Iris Winnow and war correspondent Roman Kitt can no longer be assured the other is safe—or even still alive. In Iris’ world of cigarette smoke, copper pipes, and driving goggles, colleagues affectionately call each other by their last names, watch each other’s backs, and face danger on the front lines. Though Underling Correspondent Roman is traveling with Dacre’s army, he questions why he was healed of his grievous wounds, while at the same time, he gradually recovers memories of Iris and recalls that she was special to him. Their magically connected typewriters allow for the rediscovery of their love and for communicating potentially deadly information about the invasion of Hawk Shire. The story primarily unfolds from Iris’ and Roman’s viewpoints, and while the prose occasionally uses well-worn phrases, Anglophiles will particularly enjoy the worldbuilding, and returning readers will welcome appearances from Capt. Keegan Torres; her wife, Marisol; and Dacre’s archnemesis—and wife—the goddess Enva. Main characters present white.

The well-paced romantic tension is a highlight of this enjoyable duology closer. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2023

ISBN: 9781250857453

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2024

Close Quickview