Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Next book

CITY OF SHARDS

From the Spellgiver series

An exhilarating tale for fans of sword and sorcery, fantasy, and rich worldbuilding.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Ostracized for his uncontrollable, three-word outbursts, a boy comes of age in a realm filled with magic, evil, and warring gods in this debut novel.

A boy named Larin spends most of his time in a four-block area of a slum known as the Wormpile, a patch kept safe by his uncle, Akul, a formidable ex-warrior with a drug problem. Whenever Larin ventures out of this zone, he is harassed by gangs of bullies sanctioned by Oarl, who rules the Wormpile streets beyond Akul’s bailiwick. Larin loves to read and eventually learns that the mysterious words he speaks mean “The Lord Escapes His Prison.” Eventually, Akul employs Laniette, a wizardress, who suppresses Larin’s verbal eruptions. But during an attack at his uncle’s tavern/temple, the boy’s emotions cause him to speak the words in front of a priest and he is banished from the sanctuary. Later, Larin finds love in Onie, a girl he once thought unattainable, as Laniette teaches him how to wield the power his words bring and find his place in an upcoming struggle to save all of humanity. Meanwhile, war brews on many fronts of Larin’s city. The Lidathi threaten the northern border; to the south, the once-conquered Seridor ominously assemble. Inside the borders, the Morphasti use Nazi-like tactics to set people against one another. In this first installment of a fantasy duology, Rodgers creates an intricate world of fabulous creatures, diverse deities, colorful locales, and spectacular battles. His characters, whether human or Lidathi, are empathetic, realistic individuals. The author’s writing style is spot-on for this fantastic tale, never straying into the type of heroic language that can often turn into a parody of itself. Rather, the prose is crisp and image-filled: “The day Larin first exploded was one of flint skies and a fog that mercifully shrouded the Wormpile’s trash-filled alleys.” Additionally, relationships are well-developed; perhaps the most intriguing is the bond between Lidathi leader Kemharak and his captive Theralle, Lainette’s husband—which leads to an exciting cliffhanger conclusion.

 An exhilarating tale for fans of sword and sorcery, fantasy, and rich worldbuilding.

Pub Date: March 30, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9983616-1-1

Page Count: 264

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: April 24, 2018

Categories:

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 37


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2015


  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize
    winner


  • National Book Award Finalist

Next book

A LITTLE LIFE

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 37


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2015


  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize
    winner


  • National Book Award Finalist

Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

Categories:
Next book

FIREFLY LANE

Dated sermonizing on career versus motherhood, and conflict driven by characters’ willed helplessness, sap this tale of...

Lifelong, conflicted friendship of two women is the premise of Hannah’s maudlin latest (Magic Hour, 2006, etc.), again set in Washington State.

Tallulah “Tully” Hart, father unknown, is the daughter of a hippie, Cloud, who makes only intermittent appearances in her life. Tully takes refuge with the family of her “best friend forever,” Kate Mularkey, who compares herself unfavorably with Tully, in regards to looks and charisma. In college, “TullyandKate” pledge the same sorority and major in communications. Tully has a life goal for them both: They will become network TV anchorwomen. Tully lands an internship at KCPO-TV in Seattle and finagles a producing job for Kate. Kate no longer wishes to follow Tully into broadcasting and is more drawn to fiction writing, but she hesitates to tell her overbearing friend. Meanwhile a love triangle blooms at KCPO: Hard-bitten, irresistibly handsome, former war correspondent Johnny is clearly smitten with Tully. Expecting rejection, Kate keeps her infatuation with Johnny secret. When Tully lands a reporting job with a Today-like show, her career shifts into hyperdrive. Johnny and Kate had started an affair once Tully moved to Manhattan, and when Kate gets pregnant with daughter Marah, they marry. Kate is content as a stay-at-home mom, but frets about being Johnny’s second choice and about her unrealized writing ambitions. Tully becomes Seattle’s answer to Oprah. She hires Johnny, which spells riches for him and Kate. But Kate’s buttons are fully depressed by pitched battles over slutwear and curfews with teenaged Marah, who idolizes her godmother Tully. In an improbable twist, Tully invites Kate and Marah to resolve their differences on her show, only to blindside Kate by accusing her, on live TV, of overprotecting Marah. The BFFs are sundered. Tully’s latest attempt to salvage Cloud fails: The incorrigible, now geriatric hippie absconds once more. Just as Kate develops a spine, she’s given some devastating news. Will the friends reconcile before it’s too late?

Dated sermonizing on career versus motherhood, and conflict driven by characters’ willed helplessness, sap this tale of poignancy.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-312-36408-3

Page Count: 496

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2007

Close Quickview