A girl struggles with what she is: not animal, not human, not witch.
The conclusion to Shepherd’s (Grim Lovelies, 2018, etc.) duology begins six weeks after the siege of Montélimar. Rennar’s crows surround Anouk’s home, where she is now trapped, her plans to study magic at an academy having stalled. When Rennar, crown prince of the Shadow Royals, shows up at her door, a shoe missing and fear in his eyes, something is clearly wrong. Despite her suspicions, Anouk bargains with him for a chance to rescue her friends, become a witch, and gain power. Readers familiar with the first volume will enjoy this final leg of Anouk’s journey in which enemies become family and the powerless become powerful. Her transformation is the central theme of the story: Anouk feels “tired of living in a world where girls were so expendable.” The love triangle skews toward the boy who offers the more emotionally healthy choice, though he is prone toward saccharine declarations. Moving from Paris to London, the story highlights major landmarks that help ground readers in the setting. Sexual diversity features prominently, from a trans character from the last book taking on a larger role to the heartache of a gay boy in love with his straight, male best friend. Although many of the witches and Royals tend toward white, there are a few racially diverse characters.
A satisfying conclusion. (Urban fantasy. 13-18)