This is the late Pratchett’s last book; even not-quite-perfect Pratchett is something to treasure and can proudly take its...

THE SHEPHERD'S CROWN

From the Tiffany Aching series , Vol. 5

“Cry ‘Crivens!’ and let loose the clan Mac Feegle!”

The tiny, blue-skinned, kilt-and-not-much-else–wearing warriors will be needed, as the barrier between Discworld and Fairyland has grown thin, and the fairy folk are itching to break through again. As ever, young witch Tiffany Aching is ready to square her shoulders and do what needs to be done—she is a witch, after all, and that’s what witches do—but even the young woman who banished the Queen of the Elves, faced down the hiver, survived a dance with the Wintersmith, and vanquished the Cunning Man will need help. In addition to Rob Anybody and his swarm of hard-drinking, brawling relatives, Tiffany has the support of the witches—even Mrs. Earwig and Queen Magrat—and a character new to Pratchett’s universe: Geoffrey, a boy who “weaves calm” and musters an army of old men who stubbornly resist obsolescence. If Pratchett explored the double-edged sword of memory in I Shall Wear Midnight (2010), here he explores the complicated notion of legacy, as Tiffany must assume her full responsibilities as a mature witch and begin to cultivate apprentices of her own. If some subplots are not as fully integrated into the story as one might wish and there are some bumpy transitions, who cares?

This is the late Pratchett’s last book; even not-quite-perfect Pratchett is something to treasure and can proudly take its place in one heck of a literary legacy. (Fantasy. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-242997-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2015

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

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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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A stunning novel that exposes modern fascism and elevates human resilience. (author’s note, research and sources, glossary,...

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THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE

The pitiless dictatorship of Francisco Franco examined through the voices of four teenagers: one American and three Spaniards.

The Spanish Civil War lasted from 1936-1939, but Franco held Spain by its throat for 36 years. Sepetys (Salt to the Sea, 2016, etc.) begins her novel in 1957. Daniel is a white Texan who wants to be a photojournalist, not an oilman; Ana is trying to work her way to respectability as a hotel maid; her brother, Rafael, wants to erase memories of an oppressive boys’ home; and Puri is a loving caregiver for babies awaiting adoption—together they provide alternating third-person lenses for viewing Spain during one of its most brutally repressive periods. Their lives run parallel and intersect as each tries to answer questions about truth and the path ahead within a regime that crushes any opposition, murders dissidents, and punishes their families while stealing babies to sell to parents with accepted political views. This formidable story will haunt those who ask hard questions about the past as it reveals the hopes and dreams of individuals in a nation trying to lie its way to the future. Meticulous research is presented through believable, complex characters on the brink of adulthood who personalize the questions we all must answer about our place in the world. 

A stunning novel that exposes modern fascism and elevates human resilience. (author’s note, research and sources, glossary, photographs) (Historical fiction. 15-adult)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-16031-8

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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