A tale to sweep new and confirmed fans into the author’s distinctively imagined blend of history, magic, mythology,...

BLUECROWNE

A GREENGLASS HOUSE STORY

In this prequel to Milford’s Nagspeake tales, a privateer’s daughter takes on a ruthless time traveler who kidnaps her little brother.

Having been raised at sea aboard the Left-Handed Fate, 12-year-old Lucy is feeling marooned in the house her father, Capt. Bluecrowne, has built above the otherworldly town of Nagspeake for her, her half brother, Liao, and her beloved stepmother, Xiaoming. But hardly have the three moved in than Liao—already displaying a prodigious talent for constructing bombs and magical fireworks—is spirited away by Foulk Trigemine, a cold-eyed “roamer” sent to gather the boy up as a “conflagrationeer” for a man reputed to own some of Hell’s own coal. Foolishly, rather than use his kairos mechanism to return whence he came, Trigemine lingers in the town and era, scheming to snatch up other treasures. Unfortunately (for him), not only is Lucy willing to, literally, walk through fire to rescue her brother, but the lad’s vengeful mother turns out to be much more than she appears. Milford tucks strange places, odd artifacts, and people with mysterious pasts into a suspenseful tale properly supplied with sinister villains, clever twists, large explosions, and heartbreaking sacrifices. Along with the interracial family at the story’s center (Lucy and her father are white, while Liao and his mother are Chinese), black and Asian supporting characters add notes of diversity to the cast. Finished illustrations not seen.

A tale to sweep new and confirmed fans into the author’s distinctively imagined blend of history, magic, mythology, chemistry, and nautical lore. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-328-46688-4

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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Like its bestselling progenitors, a nonstop spinoff afroth with high tech, spectacular magic, and silly business.

THE FOWL TWINS

From the Fowl Twins series , Vol. 1

With their big brother Artemis off to Mars, 11-year-old twins Myles and Beckett are swept up in a brangle with murderous humans and even more dangerous magical creatures.

Unsurprisingly, the fraternal Irish twins ultimately prove equal to the challenge—albeit with help from, Colfer as omniscient narrator admits early on, a “hugely improbable finale.” Following the coincidental arrival on their island estate of two denizens of the subterranean fairy realm in the persons of a tiny but fearsome troll and a “hybrid” pixie-elf, or “pixel,” police trainee, the youngest Fowls immediately find themselves in the sights of both Lord Teddy Bleedham-Drye, a ruthless aristocrat out to bag said troll for its immorality-conferring venom, and Sister Jeronima Gonzalez-Ramos de Zárate, black-ops “nunterrogation” and knife specialist for ACRONYM, an intergovernmental fairy-monitoring organization. Amid the ensuing whirl of captures, escapes, trickery, treachery, and gunfire (none of which proves fatal…or at least not permanently), the twins leverage their complementary differences to foil and exasperate both foes: Myles being an Artemis mini-me who has dressed in black suits since infancy and loves coming up with and then “Fowlsplaining” his genius-level schemes; and Beckett, ever eager to plunge into reckless action and nearly nonverbal in English but with an extraordinary gift for nonhuman tongues. In the end they emerge triumphant, though threatened with mind wipe if they ever interfere in fairy affairs again. Yeah, right. Human characters seem to be default white; “hybrid” is used to describe nonhuman characters of mixed heritage.

Like its bestselling progenitors, a nonstop spinoff afroth with high tech, spectacular magic, and silly business. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-04375-5

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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THE EMPEROR OF NIHON-JA

From the Ranger's Apprentice series , Vol. 10

The 10th and final full-length episode in an alternate-Earth series that's just about reached its sell-by date unites the five members of the central cast in yet another rescue mission to a distant land. This time its a thinly disguised medieval Japan, where bluff young warrior Horace has been swept up in the entourage accompanying a kindly emperor who is on the run from a vicious usurper. Thanks to a sequence of massive coincidences, he is soon joined in a remote mountain fortress by Rangers Will (who graduated from "apprentice" about five volumes ago) and his crusty mentor Halt, plus temperamental Princess Evanlyn and her spunky frenemy Alyss. While the usurper and his forces obligingly winter nearby, the menfolk train a peasant army for the true emperor while Evanlyn and Alyss set out to recruit more allies and have an air-clearing heart-to-heart about who really loves whom. By the end battles are won, bad guys slain, feasts held and everyone heads home for weddings and further adventures. The "keep it simple" approach has served Flanagan—and readers who prefer predictable plots and easily recognizable settings and character types—well, but the formula has staled. "The Final Battle" blazoned on the cover indicates a recognition of this fact, though loose ends leave open the possibility of further, as-yet-unplanned developments. Here's hoping a break will restore zing to future adventures. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: April 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25500-7

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2011

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