A rollicking series conclusion.

THE NIGHTMARE CHARADE

From the Arkwell Academy series , Vol. 3

For Destiny "Dusty" Everhart, a dream-feeding Nightmare, junior year at Arkwell Academy means magical visions, forbidden romance, and a final battle with the malevolent Marrow.

After a summer apart, Dusty is thrilled to see her dream-seer partner and romantic interest Eli Booker. But because of a curse foreseen by Lady Elaine, chief adviser to the Magi Senate, a network of school officials and gruff security personnel is deployed to keep their relationship strictly business. Adding to the frustration and confusion, Dusty's mother—usually haughty and self-centered—is desperate and on the run after being accused of a murder Dusty is certain she didn't commit. Meanwhile, the clandestine Dept. of Intelligence for Magikind Secrecy recruits Dusty and Eli to recover a stolen magical artifact called the Death's Heart under a magically binding nondisclosure agreement with uncomfortable, though harmless, tongue-tying effects. Like its two predecessors, this volume hits all the notes of a magical boarding school adventure: secret identities, classroom mishaps, betrayals, after-hours high jinks, and mortal peril at the hands of a spell-wielding megalomaniac. Some storylines come with a few too many twists and turns, but the climactic scene delivers tension, romance, and a resolution that satisfies.

A rollicking series conclusion. (Fantasy. 12-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7653-3335-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Tor

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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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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A must-read with a conclusion that will leave readers craving more.

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THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS

A monster spreads madness through the streets of Shanghai.

It is the autumn of 1926, and Shanghai is poised at the brink of transformation. Foreign powers have carved out portions of the city for themselves; what remains is divided between two feuding gangs, the Chinese Scarlet Gang and the Russian White Flowers. Eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai has returned home from New York City, wreathed in a reputation for ruthlessness and ready to step into her role as heir to the Scarlet Gang. Four years ago, a betrayal by the White Flowers heir, Roma Montagov, a young man of 19, led to the deaths of countless Scarlets, and Juliette is determined to avenge her gang. But when a lethal contagion strikes the city, targeting Scarlets and White Flowers alike, Juliette and Roma grudgingly agree to cooperate on an investigation in order to save their city. The slow-burning romance in this book takes a back seat to the gripping mystery grounded in immersive historical detail. Allusions to Romeo and Juliet are evident in names and specific scenes, but familiar themes of family, loyalty, and identity bear new significance in Gong’s inventive adaptation. Language is a tool wielded deftly by the multilingual characters, who switch easily among English, French, Shanghainese, Russian, and more, with Mandarin as the primary dialect for Chinese phrases. A strong supporting cast that includes a trans girl completes this striking debut.

A must-read with a conclusion that will leave readers craving more. (Historical fantasy. 13-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-5769-0

Page Count: 464

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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