A massive page-turner that leaves readers longing for more.

THE BLACK WITCH

Transported from her sheltered village life to join the diverse, magical student body at Verpax University, Elloren Gardner’s comfortable sense of history is challenged by living and learning alongside Elves, shape-shifting Lupines, and even feared, demonic Icarals.

In Gardneria, mages rule the land, brought to power by Elloren’s illustrious forebears, including Elloren’s magically powerful grandmother, The Black Witch, Carnissa Gardner, who drove back enemy forces in the Realm War; however, a Gardnerian Seer predicts a new Black Witch will rise to battle a Great Winged One. Yet although she’s the spitting image of Carnissa, with the black hair, glimmering skin, and green eyes characteristic of pure-blooded Gardnerians, Elloren appears devoid of magical powers in a society that prizes them. Pressured by her politically powerful aunt Vyvian to be wandfasted to attractive Level Five Mage Lukas Grey, Elloren draws the ire of his jealous, would-be suitor Fallon Bane—another Level Five Mage rumored to be the next Black Witch. At Verpax, Elloren must room with two Icarals and work alongside rainbow-hued Urisks and Kelts whose “blood is polluted” with other races’. But as Elloren slowly befriends her strange set of schoolmates (Lupine twins Diana and Jarod, Icaral roommate Ariel, and attractive and mysterious Kelt Yvan) she’s challenged to confront her own prejudices. At book’s end, Yvan, Elloren, and the mysterious white wand she possesses brim with potential power. In Elloren’s tale, this briskly paced, tightly plotted novel enacts the transformative power of education, creating engaging characters set in a rich alternative universe with a complicated history that can help us better understand our own.

A massive page-turner that leaves readers longing for more. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-373-21231-6

Page Count: 608

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Review Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell...

SIX OF CROWS

Adolescent criminals seek the haul of a lifetime in a fantasyland at the beginning of its industrial age.

The dangerous city of Ketterdam is governed by the Merchant Council, but in reality, large sectors of the city are given over to gangs who run the gambling dens and brothels. The underworld's rising star is 17-year-old Kaz Brekker, known as Dirtyhands for his brutal amorality. Kaz walks with chronic pain from an old injury, but that doesn't stop him from utterly destroying any rivals. When a councilman offers him an unimaginable reward to rescue a kidnapped foreign chemist—30 million kruge!—Kaz knows just the team he needs to assemble. There's Inej, an itinerant acrobat captured by slavers and sold to a brothel, now a spy for Kaz; the Grisha Nina, with the magical ability to calm and heal; Matthias the zealot, hunter of Grishas and caught in a hopeless spiral of love and vengeance with Nina; Wylan, the privileged boy with an engineer's skills; and Jesper, a sharpshooter who keeps flirting with Wylan. Bardugo broadens the universe she created in the Grisha Trilogy, sending her protagonists around countries that resemble post-Renaissance northern Europe, where technology develops in concert with the magic that's both coveted and despised. It’s a highly successful venture, leaving enough open questions to cause readers to eagerly await Volume 2.

Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell into a family . (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62779-212-7

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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

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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