An absorbing adventure with an emphasis on self-discovery.

PADAWAN

From the Star Wars series

In a moment of impulsive rebellion, Jedi Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi embarks on an unsupervised mission to a remote planet to prove himself and chase his destiny.

Sixteen-year-old Obi-Wan, newly risen to the rank of Padawan, couldn’t be more different from his master, Qui-Gon Jinn. All Qui-Gon wants to do is meditate at the Jedi Temple. The harder Obi-Wan tries to follow his Master’s guidance, the more distant he feels from his purpose and the Force. He uncovers the opportunity of a real mission tracking down a forgotten planet and finally convinces Qui-Gon to investigate, but Obi-Wan’s Master never shows up for their planned departure. Driven by frustration and desperation, Obi-Wan steals the ship and sets out on his own. While the story may take place in a galaxy far, far away, Obi-Wan’s grappling with anxiety and belonging hit close to home. The band of young people he finds surviving on an apparently hostile planet challenge his original vision of playing their savior. Explorations of romantic feelings and sexuality emerge casually, as does the relationship between two nonhuman characters, Zae-Brii (who uses they/them pronouns) and Audj (who uses she/her). An unfolding mystery and present physical danger rev the story’s momentum through suspense. Obi-Wan, the only central human character, presents as White. This glimpse into the young life of a significant Star Wars character stands alone.

An absorbing adventure with an emphasis on self-discovery. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: July 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-368-02349-8

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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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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Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell...

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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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