A frothy little stand-alone fairy tale.

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THE SIREN

A chaste forbidden romance between a siren and a human in this re-edited rerelease from The Selection (2012) author Cass.

When the ship that Kahlen and her wealthy, white family are passengers on is hit by siren song, luring everyone overboard to their deaths, Kahlen’s desperate prayers for life are answered—by the Ocean. Three sirens explain the deal: Kahlen will live for 100 years as a siren, serving the Ocean by singing humans to their deaths, and then go free; if she refuses the deal, she dies. Eighty years later and in the thoroughly wired present, Kahlen grieves the lives she takes while loving the Ocean as a mother. With her multicultural-in-name-only siren sisters (Japanese, African, and Indian characters alongside a number of white ones), Kahlen interacts with humans carefully (with feigned muteness, as their voices are dangerous). Then she meets sweet, slightly goofy Akinli, a blond, white college boy, and they fall hard for each other. While the romance comes on fast, it’s based on more than physical attraction. All Kahlen ever wanted was love and to be a bride, but she still has 20 years of service before she can rejoin humanity. The value she places on heterosexual romance coexists with her sisters’ differing priorities, character-specific rather than universal. Still, despite their more varied life interests, between pretty dresses and endless pining, this one is best for hopeless romantics.

A frothy little stand-alone fairy tale. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-239199-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2016

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An intoxicating, tightly plotted feast for the senses with a dramatic cliffhanger.

KINGDOM OF THE WICKED

From the Kingdom of the Wicked series , Vol. 1

A vengeful Sicilian witch forges an unlikely alliance resulting in epic, supernatural consequences.

Eighteen-year-old Emilia di Carlo and her twin sister, Vittoria, have a secret: They are streghe, trained from a young age to use magic. Emilia is as introverted and romantic as her sister is bold and irreverent, but they share a love of good food and a disregard for their grandmother’s warnings about the devil and his brothers. Known as the Malvagi or Wicked, the seven princes of Hell have not been seen in years until tragedy strikes and a foray into forbidden magic accidentally summons the Prince of Wrath: Three witches—including Vittoria—are dead, and Emilia is desperate to avenge her sister and stop the killings. An uneasy truce with Wrath soon blossoms into a tantalizing, dangerous attraction with an uneven power dynamic. Rich worldbuilding constructs a post-unification Kingdom of Italy in which witches, demons, and shape-shifters live—and battle—among oblivious humans in a society strongly influenced by the Catholic brotherhood in its midst. Several significant plot points unfold in a Capuchin monastery and its eerie catacombs, and the brotherhood's conflation of witchcraft with the devil is emphasized throughout. Most characters are cued as White—Emilia and her sister have brown eyes and hair and olive skin—while the dark-haired Wicked have golden skin.

An intoxicating, tightly plotted feast for the senses with a dramatic cliffhanger. (map) (Historical fantasy. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-42846-0

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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Fan-service? Yes—and fans will rejoice in every dark, luscious moment.

HOW THE KING OF ELFHAME LEARNED TO HATE STORIES

From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 3.5

Once upon a time....

In Faerie, a cruel prince met his match in Jude, a human raised in his world. An entire trilogy tells their tale from her perspective; now the prince gets center stage. This lavishly illustrated tome, more a series of vignettes than a complete novel, shows critical moments in Cardan’s life, including moments previously seen through Jude’s perspective. The entirety is framed within a moment that takes place after the end of The Queen of Nothing (2019), providing a glimpse into the maturing relationships between Jude and Cardan and between Cardan and his responsibilities as High King of Elfhame, a land whose multihued, multiformed denizens cannot lie. Woven throughout are three iterations of a story, initially told to a young Cardan, each version different in specifics and moral but all centered on a boy with a heart of stone and a monstrous, cursed bride. Readers familiar with Cardan and Jude’s tumultuous and sometimes troubling love will recognize notes within this repeated tale, but each telling also stands alone as a complete tale, one that feels both inevitable and fresh. Black continues to build an ever expanding mythos with her Faerie stories, and while this volume requires prior knowledge of The Folk of the Air trilogy, it offers new delights along with familiar moments retold.

Fan-service? Yes—and fans will rejoice in every dark, luscious moment. (map) (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-54088-9

Page Count: 200

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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