An action-packed and satisfying conclusion.

AURORA'S END

From the Aurora Cycle series , Vol. 3

The final installment of the Aurora Cycle finds Squad 312 in far-flung reaches of space and time, racing to save the galaxy from being consumed by the Ra’haam.

After the disastrous battle of Terra that concluded the previous book, this entry opens with the members of Squad 312 in confusion. Squad leader Tyler Jones has just witnessed the abrupt disappearance of the Ra’haam-destroying Eshvaren weapon with Aurora and Kal aboard, while the ship bearing the remaining three members cannot be found at all. Where have they gone? Or rather, when? The weapon needed to save the galaxy has been severely damaged and flung into a terrible future, while Scarlett, Zila, and Finian have gone in the opposite direction, a couple of centuries into the past. Independently, the three cohorts must figure out what they are meant to do within their timelines, how to get back home, and how to defeat the Ra’haam. This volume is the most action-packed of the trilogy, with nonstop plot twists, battles, and revelations at every turn. Loose threads from previous installments are tied up, romances blossom, and throughout, there’s no shying away from the violence of battle. Even so, there’s room for humor, as the banter and affection between the humanoid squad members, who are diverse in skin tone, remains at the fore. The happy ending may be a tad melodramatic, but who’s complaining?

An action-packed and satisfying conclusion. (series overview and cast list) (Science fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5247-2088-9

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 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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An inventive, character-driven twist breathes new life into tired fantasy trends.

RED QUEEN

From the Red Queen series , Vol. 1

Amid a war and rising civil unrest, a young thief discovers the shocking power within her that sparks a revolution.

At 17, Mare knows that without an apprenticeship or job, her next birthday will bring a conscription to join the war. She contributes to her poor family’s income the only way she can, stealing from the Silvers, who possess myriad powers and force her and her fellow Reds into servitude. The Silvers literally bleed silver, and they can manipulate metal, plants and animals, among many other talents. When Mare’s best friend, Kilorn, loses his job and is doomed to conscription, she is determined to change his fate. She stumbles into a mysterious stranger after her plan goes awry and is pulled out of her village and into the world of Silver royalty. Once inside the palace walls, it isn’t long before Mare learns that powers unknown to red-blooded humans lie within her, powers that could lead a revolution. Familiar tropes abound. Mare is revealed as a great catalyst for change among classes and is groomed from rags to riches, and of course, seemingly kind characters turn out to be foes. However, Aveyard weaves a compelling new world, and Mare and the two men in her life evolve intriguingly as class tension rises. Revolution supersedes romance, setting the stage for action-packed surprises.

An inventive, character-driven twist breathes new life into tired fantasy trends. (Fantasy. 13 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-231063-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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