A compelling story of hard-fought growth and redemption, with yet more to come in at least one more future volume.

TOWER OF DAWN

From the Throne of Glass series , Vol. 6

Maas chronicles Chaol and Nesryn’s activities during Empire of Storms (2016).

Chaol (a rare white character in this book) and Nesryn venture to the Southern Continent on a mission with two objectives. One is to make an alliance with the powerful khagan, the other to see if the famed healers of Antica’s Torre Cesme can use their magic to repair his spine. The progressive khaganate, a multicultural empire modeled after Mongolia, is lavishly and lovingly explored during the first half of the book. Nesryn enjoys it as well, taking pleasure in not being a racial other, as she is Adarlan; her father was from the Southern Continent, and her family names are analogous to Arabic). Nesryn, from whose third-person perspective much of the story is told, comes into her own here, apart from Chaol. A complicated political situation involving five potential heirs to the khaganate means Chaol must tread carefully to secure support. Meanwhile, Chaol’s assigned healer, brown-skinned Yrene (also a point-of-view character), is from the Northern Continent and has a major grudge against Adarlan. Chaol and Yrene must work on emotional wounds as well as physical—readers who stick around till the end of this long tome will find a subversion of the typical fantasy disability narrative. Meanwhile, romances bloom, and the Valg threat looms closer, leading to major revelations.

A compelling story of hard-fought growth and redemption, with yet more to come in at least one more future volume. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68119-577-3

Page Count: 672

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2017

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Grimly plainly worked hard, but, as the title indicates, the result serves his own artistic vision more than Mary Shelley’s.

GRIS GRIMLY'S FRANKENSTEIN

A slightly abridged graphic version of the classic that will drive off all but the artist’s most inveterate fans.

Admirers of the original should be warned away by veteran horror artist Bernie Wrightson’s introductory comments about Grimly’s “wonderfully sly stylization” and the “twinkle” in his artistic eye. Most general readers will founder on the ensuing floods of tiny faux handwritten script that fill the opening 10 pages of stage-setting correspondence (other lengthy letters throughout are presented in similarly hard-to-read typefaces). The few who reach Victor Frankenstein’s narrative will find it—lightly pruned and, in places, translated into sequences of largely wordless panels—in blocks of varied length interspersed amid sheaves of cramped illustrations with, overall, a sickly, greenish-yellow cast. The latter feature spidery, often skeletal figures that barrel over rough landscapes in rococo, steampunk-style vehicles when not assuming melodramatic poses. Though the rarely seen monster is a properly hard-to-resolve jumble of massive rage and lank hair, Dr. Frankenstein looks like a decayed Lyle Lovett with high cheekbones and an errant, outsized quiff. His doomed bride, Elizabeth, sports a white lock à la Elsa Lanchester, and decorative grotesqueries range from arrangements of bones and skull-faced flowers to bunnies and clownish caricatures.

Grimly plainly worked hard, but, as the title indicates, the result serves his own artistic vision more than Mary Shelley’s. (Graphic classic. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-186297-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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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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