That said, this is a mighty strong finish to the trilogy, and there is plenty to keep readers turning the pages.

LARK ASCENDING

From the Skylark series , Vol. 3

Fans of the Skylark trilogy will welcome the third and final installment of the series.

Gone are any remnants of Lark Ainsley’s struggle to come to grips with her power. Here, as the title suggests, she is truly Lark ascendant—confident, powerful and ready to lead her people through the coming revolution. But she’s not the only one. Eve the Renewable, freed from the architects’ cage and alight with magic, is equally prepared for battle. But whose side is she on? With a familiar cast of well-rounded and compelling supporting characters, Lark is given room to shine as a reluctant leader who has fully come in to her own. The connection shared by Lark and Eve is both one of the best and one of the most frustrating parts of the novel. Readers will undoubtedly be intrigued by the suggestion that these powerful women are two sides of the same coin. The glimpses of their shared memories and telepathic link add depth and suspense. Unfortunately, the ties that bind them are revealed grindingly slowly, particularly given their importance to the story. And again, the overcomplicated history of this dystopian world may leave readers scratching their heads.

That said, this is a mighty strong finish to the trilogy, and there is plenty to keep readers turning the pages. (Dystopian adventure. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7613-8867-8

Page Count: 328

Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2014

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

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

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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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