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GIRLS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD by Laura Brooke Robson Kirkus Star


by Laura Brooke Robson

Pub Date: June 8th, 2021
ISBN: 978-0-525-55403-5
Publisher: Dial Books

In a world facing storms and floods of biblical proportions, survival isn’t guaranteed.

Everyone in Kostrov expects the Royal Flyers, whose aerial silk performances preserve the country’s cultural heritage, to accompany the court on the ships that will sustain royals, nobles, and pious commoners during the impending yearlong flood prophesied in the Sacred Breath scripture. So when, with only months to spare, Natasha discovers that the Flyers aren’t on the roster, she joins the many Kostrovian girls competing for King Nikolai’s hand in hopes of guaranteeing passage for herself and her troupe. Refreshingly, despite Natasha’s love of fairy tales, it’s clear she considers marrying the king a strategic, rather than romantic, endeavor—while the way she feels around Ella, the newest Flyer, is less quantifiable. But Ella has a secret: She’s part of a vengeful plot to assassinate Nikolai. Though the girls’ objectives are directly at odds, their intense attraction to one another threatens their plans. Their slow-burn romance, told in alternating perspectives, grounds the plot amid increasingly devastating storms that illuminate Robson’s rich worldbuilding of a country divided by class, privilege, and beliefs. An immersive and clever tribute to the natural world and the longevity and power of storytelling, this book is also a subtle yet incisive critique of patriarchal structures and the male gaze. Natasha and Ella read as White; the supporting cast is diverse in skin tone.

Sobering, complex, unexpected—and wholly un-put-down-able.

(Fantasy. 12-18)