Exhilarating, romantic, and illuminating; has the potential to turn casual readers into Tudor history buffs.

MAID OF THE KING'S COURT

Hampton Court curator Worsley’s debut novel for teens digs into the danger that lies just beneath the glamour of Henry VIII’s court.

Newly trained maid-in-waiting Elizabeth Camperdowne is sent to court to find a rich husband and save her father, Lord Anthony, from financial ruin. Wild-natured, red-haired white Elizabeth and her “luxuriantly plump and sloe-eyed” cousin Katherine Howard arrive at court in time for the lecherous Henry’s marriage to wife No. 4, Anne of Cleves, whom they will attend. After Henry sends Anne into exile for failing to consummate their marriage, the narrative proceeds to follow Katherine’s rise from mistress to fifth wife and her subsequent execution for adultery. Elizabeth, the fictional narrator, must remain vigilant; one wrong move can cost her her life, but she does have a choice, which gives her more power than she thought she possessed. She can seize the opportunity to save her family by becoming the king’s mistress, or she can risk everything to be with the man she loves, bastard-born page Ned Barsby. The novel is a satisfying blend of fact and artistic liberty: the women’s duties as maids of the court are drawn from history, but Katherine’s illicit lover is an amalgam of her two real-life lovers. The retention of British spellings and the inclusion of lesser-known customs of the period add further authenticity.

Exhilarating, romantic, and illuminating; has the potential to turn casual readers into Tudor history buffs. (author’s note) (Historical fiction. 15 & up)

Pub Date: March 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8806-6

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

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High stakes, epic scope, intense action, and sweeping mythologies.

FURYBORN

From the Empirium Trilogy series , Vol. 1

Two girls separated by a thousand years are connected by a prophecy.

In a prologue, readers learn that pale-skinned Queen Rielle has killed her husband, the biracial Audric. She gives birth to their baby while a war between angels and humans rages. To keep the infant safe from the angels’ leader, light-skinned Corien, Rielle desperately charges a child with magical abilities to use his gifts to flee with and protect her—with mixed success. Later chapters alternate between telling Rielle’s story and flashing forward 1,020 years to focus on olive-skinned Eliana. Following a childhood tragedy, Rielle hid her staggering ability to control all seven elements until a threat against her beloved Audric caused her to reveal her gifts, prompting the Magisterial Council to impose seven trials to determine whether she was the Sun Queen or Blood Queen spoken of in prophecy. While readers start off knowing her story’s end, a steamy romance and devious twists along the way pack surprises. Eliana, meanwhile, is a deadly bounty hunter—serving an evil empire in order to protect her own family—who gets mixed up with rebels when her mother is abducted. The rigid, cliffhanger-heavy chapter structure is supported by breakneck pacing and constant action. The ending leaves neither storyline resolved.

High stakes, epic scope, intense action, and sweeping mythologies. (element guide) (Fantasy. 15-adult)

Pub Date: May 22, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4926-5662-3

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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Green seamlessly bridges the gap between the present and the existential, and readers will need more than one box of tissues...

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

He’s in remission from the osteosarcoma that took one of his legs. She’s fighting the brown fluid in her lungs caused by tumors. Both know that their time is limited.

Sparks fly when Hazel Grace Lancaster spies Augustus “Gus” Waters checking her out across the room in a group-therapy session for teens living with cancer. He’s a gorgeous, confident, intelligent amputee who always loses video games because he tries to save everyone. She’s smart, snarky and 16; she goes to community college and jokingly calls Peter Van Houten, the author of her favorite book, An Imperial Affliction, her only friend besides her parents. He asks her over, and they swap novels. He agrees to read the Van Houten and she agrees to read his—based on his favorite bloodbath-filled video game. The two become connected at the hip, and what follows is a smartly crafted intellectual explosion of a romance. From their trip to Amsterdam to meet the reclusive Van Houten to their hilariously flirty repartee, readers will swoon on nearly every page. Green’s signature style shines: His carefully structured dialogue and razor-sharp characters brim with genuine intellect, humor and desire. He takes on Big Questions that might feel heavy-handed in the words of any other author: What do oblivion and living mean? Then he deftly parries them with humor: “My nostalgia is so extreme that I am capable of missing a swing my butt never actually touched.” Dog-earing of pages will no doubt ensue.

Green seamlessly bridges the gap between the present and the existential, and readers will need more than one box of tissues to make it through Hazel and Gus’ poignant journey. (Fiction. 15 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-525-47881-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Jan. 10, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2012

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