An exciting, inventive finale.


From the The Conjurer Fellstone series , Vol. 3

In the conclusion to Kaptanoglu’s YA fantasy trilogy, conjurer Tessa Skye must defeat a diabolical, seemingly immortal ruler.

Tessa is searching for the boy she loves, Ash Kemp, who has inexplicably vanished. Some of the enemies the two have faced are dead, but others, like Tessa’s evil half sister, Ratcher, continue to be a threat. The greatest menace to Wilderyn, however, is King Slayert, a powerful conjurer leading a cursed army. Apparently, Slayert possesses the Kingshackle, a gold band that renders him invincible. But anyone who completes “the King’s Challenge” can take the Kingshackle from him. Tessa gets news that Ash, who’d fought during Slayert’s assault against the city of Blackgrove, is now the wicked king’s captive. She hopes to save Ash by traveling to Slayert’s fortress, which is also where one can undertake the King’s Challenge. Tessa fortunately has her windrider, an amulet that turns her into a sparrow. But she strives to find her “bloodbeast” (an animal she can change into at will) to battle Slayert’s—reputedly a dragon. Kaptanoglu’s masterful pacing makes her novel a quick read. The story takes readers through a bevy of betrayals, startling deaths, and exhilarating action, with striking villains, like boarmen and Snakeskins. While the young heroine is the series’ highlight, there are myriad characters who make an impression. Blackgrove’s Queen Sage, for example, is strong but perpetually drunk, and her brother, Lord Queshire, who sometimes refers to himself in the third person, wants to surrender immediately to Slayert’s army. Though the ending provides the trilogy with a resolution, a few characters’ fates remain in question. As such, Kaptanoglu could easily return to her sublime world—and hopefully will.

An exciting, inventive finale. (acknowledgements, about the author)

Pub Date: July 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-9994492-6-4

Page Count: 248

Publisher: Marjory Kaptanoglu

Review Posted Online: Sept. 8, 2020

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Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises.

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What would you do with one day left to live?

In an alternate present, a company named Death-Cast calls Deckers—people who will die within the coming day—to inform them of their impending deaths, though not how they will happen. The End Day call comes for two teenagers living in New York City: Puerto Rican Mateo and bisexual Cuban-American foster kid Rufus. Rufus needs company after a violent act puts cops on his tail and lands his friends in jail; Mateo wants someone to push him past his comfort zone after a lifetime of playing it safe. The two meet through Last Friend, an app that connects lonely Deckers (one of many ways in which Death-Cast influences social media). Mateo and Rufus set out to seize the day together in their final hours, during which their deepening friendship blossoms into something more. Present-tense chapters, short and time-stamped, primarily feature the protagonists’ distinctive first-person narrations. Fleeting third-person chapters give windows into the lives of other characters they encounter, underscoring how even a tiny action can change the course of someone else’s life. It’s another standout from Silvera (History Is All You Left Me, 2017, etc.), who here grapples gracefully with heavy questions about death and the meaning of a life well-lived.

Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises. (Speculative fiction. 13-adult).

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-245779-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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


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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