Full measures indeed of love and suffering…and bloodshed too: Fans will sail through and clamor for more.

CHAIN OF IRON

From the Last Hours series , Vol. 2

Both warring hearts and (literally) fiendish schemes keep the upcoming generation of demon-fighting Shadowhunters on their toes in this midtrilogy doorstopper.

Set in 1903 and centered on a love triangle involving the well-bred offspring of part-angel Nephilim last met in the Infernal Devices series, this episode carries on from Chain of Gold (2020) as golden-eyed James Herondale and Persian/British Cordelia Carstairs, wielder of the legendary blade Cortana, are wed in what—due to the workings of various spells and ill-concealed feelings—they think will be only a marriage of convenience while third-wheel Grace Blackthorn uses her power to cloud people’s minds and further the machinations of her deranged foster mother. Meanwhile, with Nephilim suddenly being slaughtered Jack the Ripper–style and other mysterious doings in the background, friendships are tested amid the efforts of supporting cast members to follow the leads in chaste but steamy couplings, requited and otherwise, same-sex and otherwise, even living and…otherwise. A brief but desperate climactic battle drives off a demonic incursion, but worse is plainly to come. “The gods are walking,” a character remarks, “and none of us are prepared.” Also, as an emotionally wracked James reflects in the aftermath, “We suffer for love because love is worth it.” The wealthy, cosmopolitan cast of Londoners includes some ethnic diversity. Illustrations not seen.

Full measures indeed of love and suffering…and bloodshed too: Fans will sail through and clamor for more. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3190-3

Page Count: 624

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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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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Beautifully written historical fiction about giddy, queer first love.

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LAST NIGHT AT THE TELEGRAPH CLUB

Finally, the intersectional, lesbian, historical teen novel so many readers have been waiting for.

Lily Hu has spent all her life in San Francisco’s Chinatown, keeping mostly to her Chinese American community both in and out of school. As she makes her way through her teen years in the 1950s, she starts growing apart from her childhood friends as her passion for rockets and space exploration grows—along with her curiosity about a few blocks in the city that her parents have warned her to avoid. A budding relationship develops with her first White friend, Kathleen, and together they sneak out to the Telegraph Club lesbian bar, where they begin to explore their sexuality as well as their relationship to each other. Lo’s lovely, realistic, and queer-positive tale is a slow burn, following Lily’s own gradual realization of her sexuality while she learns how to code-switch between being ostensibly heterosexual Chinatown Lily and lesbian Telegraph Bar Lily. In this meticulously researched title, Lo skillfully layers rich details, such as how Lily has to deal with microaggressions from gay and straight women alike and how all of Chinatown has to be careful of the insidious threat of McCarthyism. Actual events, such as Madame Chiang Kai-shek’s 1943 visit to San Francisco, form a backdrop to this story of a journey toward finding one’s authentic self.

Beautifully written historical fiction about giddy, queer first love. (author’s note) (Historical romance. 14-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-525-55525-4

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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