Shattering and transcendent.

THE SHADOW BEHIND THE STARS

From the author of the radiant A Creature of Moonlight (2014), a heartbreaking fantasy tackles life’s big questions.

Why do terrible things happen? How is one supposed to keep on going afterward? And what is there left to live for? After her life is brutally destroyed, the devastated Aglaia seeks out the three Fates of Greek myth and demands answers. Motherly Serena and even dour Xinot take pity on the innocent girl, but from the very beginning, youngest sister Chloe, who spins the threads of destiny for the other two to measure and cut, senses that Aglaia—with her stunning beauty, clear vision, and fierce determination—threatens the very foundations of their reality. For as the sisters are drawn inexorably into Aglaia’s suffering and plans for vengeance, they become increasingly immersed in the human lives, filled with all their hopes and joys and tragedies and griefs, from which the Fates need isolation. Chloe’s narrative voice is piercing and poetic, encompassing both youthful heedlessness and eternal power, rich in minute observations, delicate metaphors, restrained accountings of atrocities, and reluctant wisdom. Alongside her sisters, she comes to sing mortals “a tune of cataclysms, of breaking points, of beautiful horrors”—but the final aching chord of helpless love becomes the unexpected triumphant resolution to every impossible question.

Shattering and transcendent. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3571-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2015

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

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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An intriguing foray into a devastating future—and yet one where hope abides.

THE ONES WE'RE MEANT TO FIND

An apocalyptic future tests the bonds of love between sisters.

In this future world, climate change and other disasters have brought people together from different countries into eco-cities that levitate above their regions. Sixteen-year-old Kasey Mizuhara disassociates herself from people, moving through the world like an alien or ghost, observing her human companions. She prefers the cool comfort of logic, and the only one she loves and looks to for direction is Celia, her older sister. Cee, on the other hand, loves too much, continually pushing boundaries and breaking rules. Yet the sisters admire each other for their complementary strengths. As the world crumbles around them due to human-made disasters, Kasey strives to uncover the mystery surrounding Cee’s disappearance while Cee survives, marooned on an island and driven to search for Kasey through her wavering memories. While the science-fiction setting often does not feel fully realized enough to anchor readers in this world where the residents of the floating eco-cities carry out most of their nonessential activities in holographic mode, the story is a compelling exploration of humanity and its tendency toward selfishness and self-destruction. The pacing is maddeningly slow at first, but midway through, the action accelerates, racing to a breathless end. Readers who puzzle through this world will find a curious struggle that may answer the question of whether humanity is worth saving.

An intriguing foray into a devastating future—and yet one where hope abides. (Science fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-25856-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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