THE RED NECKLACE

A STORY OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

Although clearly reveling in the trappings of melodrama, Gardner keep tight control over this lush tale of magic, betrayal and Revolution. Yann, of Roma blood, has been raised by the dwarf Têtu, and together they assist a famed stage magician. When the evil Count Kalliovski murders the magician, hoping to discover the secret of his astounding automaton, Yann is smuggled off alone to London, to safety and education. He returns to a Paris on the brink of revolution, seeking not only Têtu but Sidonie, a young aristocrat whose unhinged father loathes her and has promised her to the Count. Richly emotional scenes switch between London and Paris, between chateaux and prisons, between boudoirs and stinking, blood-spattered streets. A hint of magic overlays the Dickensian complications, which include several sets of ill-fated lovers, secret letters, sinister automata, mystical Gypsy powers and a necklace of garnets found placed ’round the necks of a series of murder victims. Gardner’s heightened prose rarely falters, and teen readers will eat it up. (Fantasy. 12+)

Pub Date: May 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3100-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2008

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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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THE BOOK THIEF

When Death tells a story, you pay attention. Liesel Meminger is a young girl growing up outside of Munich in Nazi Germany, and Death tells her story as “an attempt—a flying jump of an attempt—to prove to me that you, and your human existence, are worth it.” When her foster father helps her learn to read and she discovers the power of words, Liesel begins stealing books from Nazi book burnings and the mayor’s wife’s library. As she becomes a better reader, she becomes a writer, writing a book about her life in such a miserable time. Liesel’s experiences move Death to say, “I am haunted by humans.” How could the human race be “so ugly and so glorious” at the same time? This big, expansive novel is a leisurely working out of fate, of seemingly chance encounters and events that ultimately touch, like dominoes as they collide. The writing is elegant, philosophical and moving. Even at its length, it’s a work to read slowly and savor. Beautiful and important. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: March 14, 2006

ISBN: 0-375-83100-2

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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