Fans of the first volume will be pleased with this duology closer.

NAMESAKE

From the Fable series , Vol. 2

A young woman unravels her hidden past and finds her true family and home in this sequel to Fable (2020).

Fable had believed that the treasure she salvaged for her crewmates would be enough to free them from her father, the sinister trader Saint. But now she’s a prisoner, delivered across the sea to an even more ruthless adversary: her fabulously wealthy and powerful grandmother. The only way out is to use her skill and magic to locate a legendary gemstone that may not even exist. This sequel barely pauses for breath before plunging immediately into a convoluted plot dense with romance, political intrigue, seafaring adventure, double- and triple-crosses, and graphic, bloody violence. While all this should be gripping, it too often fizzles into anticlimax. Still, the poetic, sensual prose creates a richly imagined maritime world, grim and cruel but also occasionally wondrous, diverse in culture, class, and sexuality. The first-person narrative is so deeply immersed in Fable’s perpetually angry, desperately affection-starved perspective that it is a repeated shock to be reminded that those for whom she lies, cheats, and betrays are objectively horrible people—power-hungry criminals and stone-cold murderers—indistinguishable from the putative villains. The resolution may be rather trite, but it’s hard to begrudge a safe harbor after such a stormy passage.

Fans of the first volume will be pleased with this duology closer. (Fantasy. 12-18)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-25439-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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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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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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