But credibility probably has no place at Fairyland Kingdom….Wow!™ anyway.

READ REVIEW

HOW ZOE MADE HER DREAMS (MOSTLY) COME TRUE

Lured by the promise of a large cash prize and the opportunity to work as a costumed intern at a destination fairy-tale theme park, 17-year-old Zoe Kiefer struggles to earn the approval of the eccentric and manipulative Queen of the park.

Zoe's duties as lady-in-waiting seem straightforward: obey Her Majesty’s orders to the letter; improve her mood with compliments and by slipping sugar secretly into her strict diet; take good care of Tinker Bell, her minute, caviar-guzzling, fluffball mutt; excise from the Queen’s reading material all mention of the hated “Mouse” (of the Mickey variety). But try as she does to do her job well and abide by the rules of Fairyland (all 270 of them), events get away from Zoe. She finds herself in several compromising and angst-ridden situations, mostly brought about by her well-meaning desire to promote her cousin Jess’ interests. In spite of the efforts of various princes, charming and nefarious, to aid or thwart her desires, she wins out in the end. The chatty tone of Zoe’s narration is pitch-perfect, laced as it is with teen humor and obsessions with relationships, clothing and makeup. The narrative, always hard to follow, ends in a madcap maelstrom of conflicting interests, improbable revelations and multiple personality changes in which believability is cheerfully sacrificed in the interest of allowing Zoe’s dreams to (mostly) come true.

But credibility probably has no place at Fairyland Kingdom….Wow!™ anyway. (Fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: April 23, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-218745-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Jan. 7, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2013

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Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell...

SIX OF CROWS

Adolescent criminals seek the haul of a lifetime in a fantasyland at the beginning of its industrial age.

The dangerous city of Ketterdam is governed by the Merchant Council, but in reality, large sectors of the city are given over to gangs who run the gambling dens and brothels. The underworld's rising star is 17-year-old Kaz Brekker, known as Dirtyhands for his brutal amorality. Kaz walks with chronic pain from an old injury, but that doesn't stop him from utterly destroying any rivals. When a councilman offers him an unimaginable reward to rescue a kidnapped foreign chemist—30 million kruge!—Kaz knows just the team he needs to assemble. There's Inej, an itinerant acrobat captured by slavers and sold to a brothel, now a spy for Kaz; the Grisha Nina, with the magical ability to calm and heal; Matthias the zealot, hunter of Grishas and caught in a hopeless spiral of love and vengeance with Nina; Wylan, the privileged boy with an engineer's skills; and Jesper, a sharpshooter who keeps flirting with Wylan. Bardugo broadens the universe she created in the Grisha Trilogy, sending her protagonists around countries that resemble post-Renaissance northern Europe, where technology develops in concert with the magic that's both coveted and despised. It’s a highly successful venture, leaving enough open questions to cause readers to eagerly await Volume 2.

Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell into a family . (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62779-212-7

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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An intoxicating, tightly plotted feast for the senses with a dramatic cliffhanger.

KINGDOM OF THE WICKED

From the Kingdom of the Wicked series , Vol. 1

A vengeful Sicilian witch forges an unlikely alliance resulting in epic, supernatural consequences.

Eighteen-year-old Emilia di Carlo and her twin sister, Vittoria, have a secret: They are streghe, trained from a young age to use magic. Emilia is as introverted and romantic as her sister is bold and irreverent, but they share a love of good food and a disregard for their grandmother’s warnings about the devil and his brothers. Known as the Malvagi or Wicked, the seven princes of Hell have not been seen in years until tragedy strikes and a foray into forbidden magic accidentally summons the Prince of Wrath: Three witches—including Vittoria—are dead, and Emilia is desperate to avenge her sister and stop the killings. An uneasy truce with Wrath soon blossoms into a tantalizing, dangerous attraction with an uneven power dynamic. Rich worldbuilding constructs a post-unification Kingdom of Italy in which witches, demons, and shape-shifters live—and battle—among oblivious humans in a society strongly influenced by the Catholic brotherhood in its midst. Several significant plot points unfold in a Capuchin monastery and its eerie catacombs, and the brotherhood's conflation of witchcraft with the devil is emphasized throughout. Most characters are cued as White—Emilia and her sister have brown eyes and hair and olive skin—while the dark-haired Wicked have golden skin.

An intoxicating, tightly plotted feast for the senses with a dramatic cliffhanger. (map) (Historical fantasy. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-42846-0

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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