The popularity of the first in this series means a ready audience for this lively volume. (Historical fiction. 12-adult)

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LOVE & WAR

AN ALEX & ELIZA STORY

From the Alex & Eliza series , Vol. 2

As the American Revolution comes to an end, Alexander Hamilton and his bride, Eliza, forge a new life in their fledgling country.

This sequel to Alex and Eliza (2017) focuses on the young couple through the early period of their marriage during the latter stages of the Revolutionary War. As Hamilton helps the war reach a successful conclusion, Eliza remains in the bosom of the Schuyler family, tending to her mother, who is enduring her latest pregnancy, counseling her older sister, Angelica, as she expects her first child, and soothing her younger sister Peggy through problems with her desired suitor. The next phase of their lives involves a move to New York City, where Hamilton begins his law practice and frets about the state of the country. We see them cope with Hamilton’s burning ambition (Aaron Burr appears in situations that highlight their rivalry) and Eliza’s efforts to find her own place. Challenges for women in this period are well-depicted and add to the heart of the story. The characterizations of Eliza as a clever and supportive wife and Alexander as a young husband whose drive often clouds his judgment contribute to the pull of the narrative, as does the blend of historical facts with plausible invented narrative.

The popularity of the first in this series means a ready audience for this lively volume. (Historical fiction. 12-adult)

Pub Date: April 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-3965-2

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: March 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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Busy, busy, busy…with portents of doom.

CHAIN OF GOLD

From the Last Hours series , Vol. 1

Clare’s (Ghosts of the Shadow Market, 2019, etc.) latest is set in the Shadowhunter world in the 20th century’s first decade (with frequent flashbacks to the previous one).

Teenage offspring of the Herondales, Carstairs, Fairchilds, and other angel-descended Nephilim continue their families’ demon-fighting ways amid a round of elegant London balls, soirees, salons, picnics, and romantic intrigues. James Herondale, 17-year-old son of Will and Tessa, finds himself and his “perfectly lethal dimple” hung up between two stunning new arrivals: Cordelia Carstairs, red-haired Persian/British wielder of a fabled magic sword, and Grace Blackthorn, an emotionally damaged but (literally, as the author unsubtly telegraphs) spellbinding friend from childhood. Meanwhile, a sudden outbreak of demonic attacks that leave more and more Shadowhunters felled by a mysterious slow poison plunges James and a cohort of allies into frantic searches for both a cause and an antidote. Ichor-splashed encounters with ravening boojums and even one of hell’s own princes ensue—all leading to final hints of a devastating scheme to destroy the Nephilim in which James himself is slated to play a central role. Characters have a range of skin tones, but ethnic diversity adds no texture to the portrayals; there is a lesbian cousin who wears traditionally male clothing and two young gay men (one tortured, the other less so).

Busy, busy, busy…with portents of doom. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3187-3

Page Count: 624

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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Skip this uninspired entry into the world of medieval love and court intrigue.

THE BETROTHED

From the Betrothed series , Vol. 1

In an imagined setting evoking medieval England, King Jameson of Coroa pursues Hollis Brite.

The independent teenager makes Jameson laugh, but she lacks the education and demeanor people expect in a queen. Her friend Delia Grace has more knowledge of history and languages but is shunned due to her illegitimate birth. Hollis gets caught up in a whirl of social activity, especially following an Isolten royal visit. There has been bad blood between the two countries, not fully explained here, and when an exiled Isolten family also comes to court, Jameson generously allows them to stay. Hollis relies on the family to teach her about Isolten customs and secretly falls in love with Silas, the oldest son, even though a relationship with him would mean relinquishing Jameson and the throne. When Hollis learns of political machinations that will affect her future in ways that she abhors, she faces a difficult decision. Romance readers will enjoy the usual descriptions of dresses, jewelry, young love, and discreet kisses, although many characters remain cardboard figures. While the violent climax may be upsetting, the book ends on a hopeful note. Themes related to immigration and young women’s taking charge of their lives don’t quite lift this awkwardly written volume above other royal romances. There are prejudicial references to Romani people, and whiteness is situated as the norm.

Skip this uninspired entry into the world of medieval love and court intrigue. (Historical romance. 13-16)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-229163-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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