STAR WARS: THE HIGH REPUBLIC

PATH OF DECEIT

From the Star Wars: The High Republic series

Enticing treachery.

As the Republic spreads to the far reaches of the galaxy, two Jedi clash with zealots from a religion dedicated to liberating the Force.

On Dalna, an isolated Outer Rim planet, the Path of the Open Hand awaits the completion of the Gaze Electric, the ship on which they hope to find sanctuary. Marda Ro, a gray-skinned Evereni, yearns to serve the Path like her cousin, Yana, one of the chosen Children who carry out the Force-inspired visions of their prophet, the Mother. Unlike her earnest cousin, Yana knows better than to trust the Path or the Force, but she also doesn’t care about the Mother’s true plans for the artifacts that the Children steal for her as long as Marda stays protected. An investigation of the Path’s connection to a high-profile theft brings Jedi Padawan Kevmo Zink, a blue-skinned Pantoran, and his master to Dalna, but when Kevmo meets Marda, her faith in the Force draws him in, causing him to question his beliefs. This High Republic–era mystery builds tension and suspense by alternating among the perspectives of characters who are at odds with one another. Establishing from the beginning that the Path stole the missing artifact elevates the overarching plot from a straightforward investigative adventure into a complex intrigue about motivation. Foreshadowing sets up the brutal and heart-wrenching ending. The cast of characters includes casual representation of polyamory, queerness, and nonbinary gender identities.

Enticing treachery. (timeline) (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-368-07612-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm

Review Posted Online: Sept. 5, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2022

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DIVINE RIVALS

Ideal for readers seeking perspectives on war, with a heavy dash of romance and touch of fantasy.

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A war between gods plays havoc with mortals and their everyday lives.

In a time of typewriters and steam engines, Iris Winnow awaits word from her older brother, who has enlisted on the side of Enva the Skyward goddess. Alcohol abuse led to her mother’s losing her job, and Iris has dropped out of school and found work utilizing her writing skills at the Oath Gazette. Hiding the stress of her home issues behind a brave face, Iris competes for valuable assignments that may one day earn her the coveted columnist position. Her rival for the job is handsome and wealthy Roman Kitt, whose prose entrances her so much she avoids reading his articles. At home, she writes cathartic letters to her brother, never posting them but instead placing them in her wardrobe, where they vanish overnight. One day Iris receives a reply, which, along with other events, pushes her to make dramatic life decisions. Magic plays a quiet role in this story, and readers may for a time forget there is anything supernatural going on. This is more of a wartime tale of broken families, inspired youths, and higher powers using people as pawns. It flirts with clichéd tropes but also takes some startling turns. Main characters are assumed White; same-sex marriages and gender equality at the warfront appear to be the norm in this world.

Ideal for readers seeking perspectives on war, with a heavy dash of romance and touch of fantasy. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-250-85743-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023

RUTHLESS VOWS

From the Letters of Enchantment series , Vol. 2

The well-paced romantic tension is a highlight of this enjoyable duology closer.

Even a war driven by gods can’t sever communication between journalist lovers Iris and Roman in this steampunk-adjacent romantic adventure.

A prologue sets the scene: Dacre, a god strummed to sleep by magic in Divine Rivals (2023), will not slumber forever. His willingness to wage war to acquire more powerful magic leads him to lay waste to entire towns, and Inkridden Tribune journalist Iris Winnow and war correspondent Roman Kitt can no longer be assured the other is safe—or even still alive. In Iris’ world of cigarette smoke, copper pipes, and driving goggles, colleagues affectionately call each other by their last names, watch each other’s backs, and face danger on the front lines. Though Underling Correspondent Roman is traveling with Dacre’s army, he questions why he was healed of his grievous wounds, while at the same time, he gradually recovers memories of Iris and recalls that she was special to him. Their magically connected typewriters allow for the rediscovery of their love and for communicating potentially deadly information about the invasion of Hawk Shire. The story primarily unfolds from Iris’ and Roman’s viewpoints, and while the prose occasionally uses well-worn phrases, Anglophiles will particularly enjoy the worldbuilding, and returning readers will welcome appearances from Capt. Keegan Torres; her wife, Marisol; and Dacre’s archnemesis—and wife—the goddess Enva. Main characters present white.

The well-paced romantic tension is a highlight of this enjoyable duology closer. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2023

ISBN: 9781250857453

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2024

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