Tightly plotted, delightful escapism.

EMPIRE OF STORMS

From the Throne of Glass series , Vol. 6

In the penultimate Throne of Glass book, Aelin meets unexpected obstacles as her enemies move against her and her allies.

Aelin may have put her role as assassin Celaena behind her, but that doesn’t mean Terrasen’s nobles are willing to hand the kingdom over to a young woman with her kind of past. Knowing the Valg king Erawan is a true threat to the entire world, Aelin must form alliances for the imminent war while uncovering the price once paid to halt Erawan—the price to stop him for good, because he’s moving fast and striking hard. This plot expands the world, introducing new delights such as a pirate haven (and—of course—naval battles) and swampy ruins in Eyllwe, as the cast also expands, with nods to the novellas collected in The Assassin’s Blade. (That said, with the number of characters presented and minimal recap, readers will wish there were a dramatis personae.) Much of Aelin’s scheming occurs off-page, as secondary characters’ viewpoints take on narrative weight—despite the occasional redundancy, this adds richness, as such characters as Manon enjoy deeper development, and Lysandra anchors the best action sequence. Romance runs rife (the main cast is mostly straight, with nods to queer minor characters) and this everyone-is-breathtakingly-beautiful-(and-also-mostly-white) world. Readers of Maas’ other series will spot her touch, especially in descriptions of lovemaking and the cliffhanger ending.

Tightly plotted, delightful escapism. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-61963-607-1

Page Count: 704

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 25

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

GIRL IN PIECES

After surviving a suicide attempt, a fragile teen isn't sure she can endure without cutting herself.

Seventeen-year-old Charlie Davis, a white girl living on the margins, thinks she has little reason to live: her father drowned himself; her bereft and abusive mother kicked her out; her best friend, Ellis, is nearly brain dead after cutting too deeply; and she's gone through unspeakable experiences living on the street. After spending time in treatment with other young women like her—who cut, burn, poke, and otherwise hurt themselves—Charlie is released and takes a bus from the Twin Cities to Tucson to be closer to Mikey, a boy she "like-likes" but who had pined for Ellis instead. But things don't go as planned in the Arizona desert, because sweet Mikey just wants to be friends. Feeling rejected, Charlie, an artist, is drawn into a destructive new relationship with her sexy older co-worker, a "semifamous" local musician who's obviously a junkie alcoholic. Through intense, diarylike chapters chronicling Charlie's journey, the author captures the brutal and heartbreaking way "girls who write their pain on their bodies" scar and mar themselves, either succumbing or surviving. Like most issue books, this is not an easy read, but it's poignant and transcendent as Charlie breaks more and more before piecing herself back together.

This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression. (author’s note) (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-93471-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

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

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 18

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

more