With this second installment, the Burning Glass trilogy hits its stride.

CRYSTAL BLADE

From the Burning Glass series , Vol. 2

Riaznin is finally free from imperial rule.

Valko, the dethroned emperor, is in prison awaiting trial. Sonya is no longer sovereign Auraseer—no longer the empire’s property. Anton, Valko’s brother and leader of the uprising, is now one of the governors on the nascent Duma, the council set up to oversee Riaznin’s new democracy. Peace is still far away, however, as the peasants and the former nobility continue to resent one another while the forces of a neighboring country are charging their way through the countryside toward the vulnerable new government. Sonya not only possesses the Auraseer’s ability to sense the emotions of others, she also has the unheard-of ability to manipulate others’ emotions. Only Anton and her old Romska friend, Tosya, know she used this ability to influence Valko to abdicate just as his regime was on the verge of winning the One Day War. Unfortunately, enemies past and present also know her secret and threaten to use it against her. The whiny girl Sonya was has been replaced by a strong but flawed woman who owns her convictions. Sonya’s first-person narration is filled with descriptions of the emotions of those around her. The effect can be disorienting, but perhaps that’s the point. A few minor characters have darker than white skin, and other than the Romani-cognate Romska, the people of Russia-analog Riaznin appear to be white.

With this second installment, the Burning Glass trilogy hits its stride. (map) (Fantasy. 12-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-241239-3

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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How can such a hefty tome be un-put-down-able excitement from beginning to end? (glossary) (Fantasy. 14 & up)

CROOKED KINGDOM

From the Six of Crows series , Vol. 2

This hefty sequel to Six of Crows (2015) brings high-tension conclusions to the many intertwined intrigues of Ketterdam.

It's time for revenge—has been ever since old-before-his-time crook Kaz and his friends were double-crossed by the merchant princes of Ketterdam, an early-industrial Amsterdam-like fantasy city filled to the brim with crime and corruption. Disabled, infuriated, and perpetually scheming Kaz, the light-skinned teen mastermind, coordinates the efforts to rescue Inej. Though Kaz is loath to admit weakness, Inej is his, for he can't bear any harm come to the knife-wielding, brown-skinned Suli acrobat. Their team is rounded out by Wylan, a light-skinned chemist and musician whose merchant father tried to have him murdered and who can't read due to a print disability; Wylan's brown-skinned biracial boyfriend, Jesper, a flirtatious gambler with ADHD; Nina, the pale brunette Grisha witch and recovering addict from Russia-like Ravka; Matthias, Nina's national enemy and great love, a big, white, blond drüskelle warrior from the cold northern lands; and Kuwei, the rescued Shu boy everyone wants to kidnap. Can these kids rescue everyone who needs rescuing in Ketterdam's vile political swamp? This is dark and violent—one notable scene features a parade of teens armed with revolvers, rifles, pistols, explosives, and flash bombs—but gut-wrenchingly genuine. Astonishingly, Bardugo keeps all these balls in the air over the 500-plus pages of narrative.

How can such a hefty tome be un-put-down-able excitement from beginning to end? (glossary) (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-213-4

Page Count: 560

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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An inventive, character-driven twist breathes new life into tired fantasy trends.

RED QUEEN

From the Red Queen series , Vol. 1

Amid a war and rising civil unrest, a young thief discovers the shocking power within her that sparks a revolution.

At 17, Mare knows that without an apprenticeship or job, her next birthday will bring a conscription to join the war. She contributes to her poor family’s income the only way she can, stealing from the Silvers, who possess myriad powers and force her and her fellow Reds into servitude. The Silvers literally bleed silver, and they can manipulate metal, plants and animals, among many other talents. When Mare’s best friend, Kilorn, loses his job and is doomed to conscription, she is determined to change his fate. She stumbles into a mysterious stranger after her plan goes awry and is pulled out of her village and into the world of Silver royalty. Once inside the palace walls, it isn’t long before Mare learns that powers unknown to red-blooded humans lie within her, powers that could lead a revolution. Familiar tropes abound. Mare is revealed as a great catalyst for change among classes and is groomed from rags to riches, and of course, seemingly kind characters turn out to be foes. However, Aveyard weaves a compelling new world, and Mare and the two men in her life evolve intriguingly as class tension rises. Revolution supersedes romance, setting the stage for action-packed surprises.

An inventive, character-driven twist breathes new life into tired fantasy trends. (Fantasy. 13 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-231063-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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