A raw, spirited, sometimes uneven tale of adventure and intrigue.

THE COURT OF MIRACLES

From the Court of Miracles series , Vol. 1

A young thief defies a brutal crime lord in this reimagining of 1820s Paris.

The French Revolution has failed, and the royals have restored order by day. But at night, it is the city’s criminals who rule, forming guilds bound by the laws of the Miracle Court. When famine strikes, young Nina’s avaricious father sells her older sister to the Tiger, the Lord of the Guild of Flesh, and Nina flees and becomes a burglar—the Black Cat of the Guild of Thieves. In time, Nina’s exploits win the admiration of allies from all classes of society. Meanwhile, the poor still starve, the royals poison them to suppress uprisings, and the other Lords cannot stop the Tiger from enslaving women. When the Tiger tries to seize Nina’s beautiful, innocent, young friend, Nina orchestrates a plot to kill him and save his victims, whatever the price. Grant’s debut is crowded with characters and events; the action feels rushed, with leaps of logic and time that can leave readers puzzled. But the narrative shines in its depictions of the gritty criminal underworld and its fierce and resourceful heroine. Nina has olive skin and black hair from her Algerian mother, and several characters are brown-skinned and dark-eyed. The Miracle Court is described as a place where race doesn’t matter (along with social class and religion), unlike the all-white royal court.

A raw, spirited, sometimes uneven tale of adventure and intrigue. (map, Miracle Court guide and laws) (Historical fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5247-7285-7

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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An important, well-executed work of historical fiction.

BLUEBIRD

The story of two teenagers at the end of World War II: one raised by Nazis, the other a German immigrant new to the United States.

It’s 1946, and Eva is arriving in America, a refugee from Germany. The narrative then flips to 1945. Sixteen-year-old Inge has been raised a Nazi, her doctor father a prominent figure and integral part of the concentration camps. In the aftermath of the war, Inge realizes the atrocities her father and her people were responsible for and vows to atone for the murdered innocents. These are postwar young women hoping to do right by their complicated pasts, the story alternating between their points of view. While the horrors of the Holocaust are certainly discussed, the brutal realities of postwar Germany and the gray areas between good and evil offer a lesser-seen view of World War II. Cameron slowly, delicately weaves these seemingly disparate stories into one seamless storyline. As the two merge into one, there are twists and turns and plenty of edge-of-your-seat moments, even if the pace is a little inconsistent. The grim realities will stay with readers long beyond the book; the truths shared are honest but not gratuitous. All of the main characters are White, though African American artist Augusta Savage plays a minor role, and some background characters are people of color.

An important, well-executed work of historical fiction. (author's note) (Historical fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-35596-3

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.

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THE CRUEL PRINCE

From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 1

Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.

Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black’s latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-31027-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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