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From the Ravens series , Vol. 1

This solid, enchanting fantasy boasts a palpable atmosphere and moves at a breakneck pace.

YA all-stars Morgan and Paige team up to present a witchy take on sorority life.

College freshman Vivi Devereaux can’t wait to go to Savannah’s Westerly College and escape the scams her mother has run to make ends meet—most involving tarot card readings—but she quickly stumbles upon a different type of magic. At a rush party for Kappa Rho Nu, she meets junior Scarlett Winter, a charismatic witch in the running to lead the sorority—which is in fact a front for a prestigious coven called the Ravens. At first hesitant, Vivi quickly warms up to the idea of being in a witch sorority, joining her fellow pledges in learning magic and forming tight bonds of friendship. But the coven has an ominous history involving dead sisters and dark magic, and Vivi and Scarlett get caught up in a dangerous, high-stakes mystery, all while balancing school, family issues, and boy trouble. This novel hits its story beats quickly and deftly, unfurling the plot through Scarlett’s and Vivi’s alternating points of view. The magic system is complex and original without being cumbersome, and it expertly conjures a supernatural, uncanny atmosphere intertwined with Greek life. Vivi is White, Scarlett is Black, and the supporting cast contains a range of diverse racial identities.

This solid, enchanting fantasy boasts a palpable atmosphere and moves at a breakneck pace. (Fantasy. 14-17)

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-358-09823-2

Page Count: 400

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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From the Aurelian Cycle series , Vol. 1

Full of drama, emotional turmoil, and high stakes.

What happens to the world after the dust from a revolution has settled?

Friends Annie and Lee were children from very different circles when Atreus killed Lee’s father, dragonlord Leon Stormscourge, ending the uprising on the bloodiest day in Callipolis’ history. For too long the dragonriders held all the power while their people starved and lived in fear. Nine years later, a new generation of dragonriders is emerging, children selected and trained on merit, not bloodlines. Their dragons are finally mature enough for them to compete for Firstrider, a position of power that can give Lee back a small part of what his family lost. However, not only is Lee competing against Annie, but rumors are circulating that some of the royal family have survived and have dragons of their own. Everyone will have to make a choice: Restore the old regime, support the First Protector and the new caste system he created, or look for a new way, no matter what the cost. From the beginning, this book pulls readers in with political intrigue and action. What keeps them invested, however, are the complex relationships between many cast members. Choices are complex, and the consequences for all could be deadly. The world is well fleshed out and believable. Annie and Lee are light skinned; secondary characters are diverse, and race is a nonissue in this world.

Full of drama, emotional turmoil, and high stakes. (author’s note) (Fantasy.14-17)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-51821-1

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: July 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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A fresh and compelling voice.

A second chance prompts a deadly game of wits.

Lu Mingshin is about to be executed. Her fiance, Prince Ren, has ordered her death after using her family’s wealth to vie for the position of crown prince from his half brothers, each of them born to one of the widower king’s Royal Ladies. If that wasn’t enough, Mingshin learns that her Uncle Yi arranged her mother’s murder, and Aylin, her two-faced noblewoman cousin, will be marrying Ren instead. On the verge of death, Mingshin desperately wishes for another chance—only to see flashes of light and wake up two years in the past. With her memories of the future intact, Mingshin intends to not become a victim again, training in combat and vowing to endear herself to King Reifeng to secure her family’s safety. Strange dreams reveal the source of the magic that allowed her to jump back in time. A powerful mage is also on Mingshin’s tail, along with the ruthless enemies she’s already aware of. As Mingshin starts to rewrite her life’s story, new individuals come into play: a visiting Elder with questionable motives; Princess Yunle, who becomes a new best friend; and Prince Jieh, one of Ren’s rivals for the throne. Set in a fantasy world reminiscent of imperial China, this debut novel’s structure has a few oddities, but the clever premise and intriguing and suspenseful plot will keep readers engaged.

A fresh and compelling voice. (Fantasy. 14-17)

Pub Date: Oct. 17, 2023

ISBN: 9781454949923

Page Count: 344

Publisher: Union Square & Co.

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2023

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