THE FITZOSBORNES IN EXILE

From the Montmaray Journals series , Vol. 2

Having narrowly escaped the Nazi bombing of their miniscule island kingdom, the young impoverished royal family of Montmaray is living in exile in England with their very wealthy aunt (A Brief History of Montmaray, 2008). Their lives have changed dramatically, as they are thrown unprepared into the world of upper-class society. But they also become embroiled in all the confusion of the perilous 1930s, speaking out against Fascism and appeasement and aiding children escaping from the horrors of the Spanish Civil War, all the while attempting to get help in wresting their home back from the Germans. Princess Sophie’s voice is true and clear in her journal, with syntax and tone spot on, as she writes with compassion of the upheaval, changing family dynamics and her own emotional growth. The novel is, in Sophie's words, a combination of the “Awful Bits” and “things that successfully distract one from the Awful Bits” in a world that “has been wound up as far as it could go.” The lively, charming characters meet challenges with pluck and ingenuity as well as a great deal of humor. Will modern readers get all the references to the real events and people? Perhaps not, but it won't matter, because the information is woven seamlessly into the plot. Multilayered and engrossing, Cooper’s tale alternates between frothy fun and heartbreaking seriousness with utter mastery. (author's note) (Historical fiction. YA)

Pub Date: April 5, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-375-85865-9

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

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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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A stunning novel that exposes modern fascism and elevates human resilience. (author’s note, research and sources, glossary,...

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THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE

The pitiless dictatorship of Francisco Franco examined through the voices of four teenagers: one American and three Spaniards.

The Spanish Civil War lasted from 1936-1939, but Franco held Spain by its throat for 36 years. Sepetys (Salt to the Sea, 2016, etc.) begins her novel in 1957. Daniel is a white Texan who wants to be a photojournalist, not an oilman; Ana is trying to work her way to respectability as a hotel maid; her brother, Rafael, wants to erase memories of an oppressive boys’ home; and Puri is a loving caregiver for babies awaiting adoption—together they provide alternating third-person lenses for viewing Spain during one of its most brutally repressive periods. Their lives run parallel and intersect as each tries to answer questions about truth and the path ahead within a regime that crushes any opposition, murders dissidents, and punishes their families while stealing babies to sell to parents with accepted political views. This formidable story will haunt those who ask hard questions about the past as it reveals the hopes and dreams of individuals in a nation trying to lie its way to the future. Meticulous research is presented through believable, complex characters on the brink of adulthood who personalize the questions we all must answer about our place in the world. 

A stunning novel that exposes modern fascism and elevates human resilience. (author’s note, research and sources, glossary, photographs) (Historical fiction. 15-adult)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-16031-8

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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