A dark fairy tale that snakes through the multiverse while maintaining the familiar tropes of legend.


Two children who are growing up set out on a journey to find escape, home, and revenge.

When Augusta stole Thistle’s name, she trapped him in the Gardens, forcing him to work as a servant until he grows up, though even that will bring no freedom: Unwanted servants become fodder for the hunt. The servants’ masters, however, never grow old, because the Gardens exist out of time, allowing the lords and ladies to endlessly relive their revels. Thistle’s other task is protecting his friend Dora, daughter of the earth, who is neither a servant nor a master. Then, when Thistle’s mistress, Augusta Prima—first seen in Tidbeck’s short story of the same name in Weird Tales (2011)—asks him to explain time, things in the Gardens begin to change. The appearance of a mysterious trader and traveler of the multiverse allows Thistle and Dora to escape, but Thistle is still without his name, and so they must search for Augusta, who holds the key to his past. Along the way, they encounter the Memory Theater, whose plays tell the story of all the worlds, as well as other creatures of myth and folklore. Augusta, meanwhile, has done some exploring of her own, leaving destruction in her wake. Tidbeck pieces together multiple worlds against a background of Swedish folktales and history. The fairy-tale quality of the prose adds to the folkloric themes of the novel but creates distance from the characters, who never develop true depth. Nevertheless, the strange and unique cast and the twists of the plot between weird and recognizable landscapes make for a satisfying read.

A dark fairy tale that snakes through the multiverse while maintaining the familiar tropes of legend.

Pub Date: Feb. 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-524-74833-3

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Pantheon

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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When anyone attempts to enhance and reformat a book that’s already sold more than five million copies, there’s some risk...


From the Boynton Moo Media series

The iPad adaption of Boynton’s bestselling board book surveys animals and the sounds they make.

When anyone attempts to enhance and reformat a book that’s already sold more than five million copies, there’s some risk involved. What if it doesn’t translate well? Worse yet, what if it flops? Fortunately, Loud Crow Interactive and Boynton don’t have to worry about that. There’s no hint of a sophomore slump in this second installment of the Boynton Moo Media series. Much like its predecessor, The Going to Bed Book (2011), this app adapts the illustrator’s trademark creatures for iPad in a way few other developers can. The animals are fluid and pliable, which is no small feat given that they’re on a flat display. Readers can jiggle them, hurl them off screen, elicit animal sounds and in some cases make them sing (in a perfect inverted triad!). Melodic violin music accompanies the entire story, which is deftly narrated by Boynton’s son, Keith. In addition to the author’s simple yet charming prose there are little surprises sprinkled throughout that extend the wit that’s won countless babies and parents over in paper form.

Pub Date: April 19, 2011


Page Count: -

Publisher: Loud Crow Interactive

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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Hits the marks for spooky thrills and mysterious chills.

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A former thief who specialized in stealing magical documents is forced back into her old habits in Black's adult debut.

Charlie Hall used to work as a thief, stealing for and from magicians—or rather, “gloamists.” In this world, gloamists are people with magical shadows that are alive, gaining strength from the gloamists' own blood. A gloamist can learn to manipulate the magic of their shadow, doing everything from changing how it looks to using it to steal, possess a person, or even murder. Gloamists hire nonmagical people like Charlie to steal precious and rare magical documents written by their kind throughout history and detailing their research and experiments in shadow magic. Gloamists can use onyx to keep each other from sending shadows to steal these treasures, but onyx won't stop regular humans from old-fashioned breaking and entering. After Charlie’s talent for crime gets her into too much trouble, she swears off her old career and tries to settle down with her sensible boyfriend, Vince—but when she finds a dead man in an alley and notices that even his shadow has been ripped to pieces, she can’t help trying to figure out who he was and why he met such a gruesome end. Before she knows it, Charlie is forced back into a life of lies and danger, using her skills as a thief to find a book that could unleash the full and terrifying power of the shadow world. Black is a veteran fantasy writer, which shows in the opening pages as she neatly and easily guides the reader through the engrossing world of gloamists, magical shadows, and Charlie’s brand of criminality. There's a lot of flipping back and forth between the past and the present, and though both timelines are well plotted and suspenseful, the story leans a touch too hard on the flashbacks. Still, the mystery elements are well executed, as is Charlie’s characterization, and the big twist at the end packs a satisfying punch.

Hits the marks for spooky thrills and mysterious chills.

Pub Date: May 3, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-81219-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Tor

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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