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THE EXILED QUEEN

A ROMAN ERA HISTORICAL FANTASY

Readers of historical fantasy will love the battles, intrigue, and imagination in this sprawling tale.

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A young princess fights to claim her throne and unite her realm in Arama’s sweeping historical fantasy.

On her 10th birthday, Princess Andrada of Kerta is ordered by the father she’s never met to begin a traditional boy’s education—her late mother’s wish. King Cothelas intends for his daughter to be his heir, but when she fails the King’s Challenge, she’s forced into an arranged marriage with King Nicetas of Valdavia. Nicetas is a cold and bitter man, haunted by an attempt on his life by Scorilus, the King of Steppewynd, and he leaves Andrada alone for months on end while he lives with his lover, the medicine woman Una. The kingdoms of Kerta, Valdavia, and Steppewynd, neighbors abutting the Black Sea, were once the single realm of Dhawosia; they now narrowly maintain their independence from the Roman Empire as they fret and squabble amongst themselves (King Cothelas demands King Nicetas’ first-born son by Andrada; King Scorilus dreamed of being an explorer, not a ruler). When tragedy strikes, Nicetas accuses Andrada of murder, and the three kingdoms go to war. In the chaos, Andrada must find her resolve and courage to try to unite her divided people. This well-crafted novel features intricate worldbuilding that’s expertly woven into the story with elegant prose: “The Old Temple of Sehul had been built by the founders of Sehuldava to capture the light of the sun on a high holy day. The light would enter the temple through a small window and reach the inner chamber.” The supporting characters often feel two-dimensional, however, with singular motivations that make their actions (and a good portion of the plot) predictable. But all the various threads come together neatly in the story’s final act for a rousing finish, and the ending provides a tidy setup for the upcoming sequel.

Readers of historical fantasy will love the battles, intrigue, and imagination in this sprawling tale.

Pub Date: today

ISBN: 9798989873104

Page Count: 377

Publisher: Dhawosia Publishing

Review Posted Online: Jan. 24, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2024

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  • New York Times Bestseller

THE WOMEN

A dramatic, vividly detailed reconstruction of a little-known aspect of the Vietnam War.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

A young woman’s experience as a nurse in Vietnam casts a deep shadow over her life.

When we learn that the farewell party in the opening scene is for Frances “Frankie” McGrath’s older brother—“a golden boy, a wild child who could make the hardest heart soften”—who is leaving to serve in Vietnam in 1966, we feel pretty certain that poor Finley McGrath is marked for death. Still, it’s a surprise when the fateful doorbell rings less than 20 pages later. His death inspires his sister to enlist as an Army nurse, and this turn of events is just the beginning of a roller coaster of a plot that’s impressive and engrossing if at times a bit formulaic. Hannah renders the experiences of the young women who served in Vietnam in all-encompassing detail. The first half of the book, set in gore-drenched hospital wards, mildewed dorm rooms, and boozy officers’ clubs, is an exciting read, tracking the transformation of virginal, uptight Frankie into a crack surgical nurse and woman of the world. Her tensely platonic romance with a married surgeon ends when his broken, unbreathing body is airlifted out by helicopter; she throws her pent-up passion into a wild affair with a soldier who happens to be her dead brother’s best friend. In the second part of the book, after the war, Frankie seems to experience every possible bad break. A drawback of the story is that none of the secondary characters in her life are fully three-dimensional: Her dismissive, chauvinistic father and tight-lipped, pill-popping mother, her fellow nurses, and her various love interests are more plot devices than people. You’ll wish you could have gone to Vegas and placed a bet on the ending—while it’s against all the odds, you’ll see it coming from a mile away.

A dramatic, vividly detailed reconstruction of a little-known aspect of the Vietnam War.

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781250178633

Page Count: 480

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2023

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  • New York Times Bestseller

IT STARTS WITH US

Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

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The sequel to It Ends With Us (2016) shows the aftermath of domestic violence through the eyes of a single mother.

Lily Bloom is still running a flower shop; her abusive ex-husband, Ryle Kincaid, is still a surgeon. But now they’re co-parenting a daughter, Emerson, who's almost a year old. Lily won’t send Emerson to her father’s house overnight until she’s old enough to talk—“So she can tell me if something happens”—but she doesn’t want to fight for full custody lest it become an expensive legal drama or, worse, a physical fight. When Lily runs into Atlas Corrigan, a childhood friend who also came from an abusive family, she hopes their friendship can blossom into love. (For new readers, their history unfolds in heartfelt diary entries that Lily addresses to Finding Nemo star Ellen DeGeneres as she considers how Atlas was a calming presence during her turbulent childhood.) Atlas, who is single and running a restaurant, feels the same way. But even though she’s divorced, Lily isn’t exactly free. Behind Ryle’s veneer of civility are his jealousy and resentment. Lily has to plan her dates carefully to avoid a confrontation. Meanwhile, Atlas’ mother returns with shocking news. In between, Lily and Atlas steal away for romantic moments that are even sweeter for their authenticity as Lily struggles with child care, breastfeeding, and running a business while trying to find time for herself.

Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-668-00122-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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