An absorbing story with tantalizing hints of more to come.

BEASTS OF RUIN

After a perilous adventure, a disgraced warrior and a newly minted daraja must face the consequences of their actions in this follow-up to Beasts of Prey (2021).

Ekon and Koffi return, each having experienced life-altering events that have caused them to reevaluate themselves and their futures. Koffi awakes in Thornkeep, a strange land belonging to Fedu, the god of death. After she freed the Shetani of her splendor, Fedu kidnapped Koffi and secreted her away with other darajas he holds captive for their skills at channeling energy from the earth. Realizing he plans to use her as his weapon, Koffi finds allyship with like-minded darajas who wish to escape: She promises to guide them through the treacherous forest, and in return, they will help her learn about her heritage. Ekon has been hiding in the city of Lkossa with Themba, Koffi’s estranged grandmother, since learning shocking truths. He and Themba search for leads as to where Fedu took Koffi, and as they leave Lkossa, they meet a group of spice merchants who agree to let them join their caravan. Ultimately, both Ekon and Koffi will need to rely on their newfound communities to overcome powerful forces. Readers will be entranced as themes of heritage, betrayal, and erasure are brought to life with vivid details in this riveting, fast-paced volume that lives up to its predecessor. All characters are Black.

An absorbing story with tantalizing hints of more to come. (map, list of orders) (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: July 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-40571-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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Riveting, brutal and beautifully told.

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WE WERE LIARS

A devastating tale of greed and secrets springs from the summer that tore Cady’s life apart.

Cady Sinclair’s family uses its inherited wealth to ensure that each successive generation is blond, beautiful and powerful. Reunited each summer by the family patriarch on his private island, his three adult daughters and various grandchildren lead charmed, fairy-tale lives (an idea reinforced by the periodic inclusions of Cady’s reworkings of fairy tales to tell the Sinclair family story). But this is no sanitized, modern Disney fairy tale; this is Cinderella with her stepsisters’ slashed heels in bloody glass slippers. Cady’s fairy-tale retellings are dark, as is the personal tragedy that has led to her examination of the skeletons in the Sinclair castle’s closets; its rent turns out to be extracted in personal sacrifices. Brilliantly, Lockhart resists simply crucifying the Sinclairs, which might make the family’s foreshadowed tragedy predictable or even satisfying. Instead, she humanizes them (and their painful contradictions) by including nostalgic images that showcase the love shared among Cady, her two cousins closest in age, and Gat, the Heathcliff-esque figure she has always loved. Though increasingly disenchanted with the Sinclair legacy of self-absorption, the four believe family redemption is possible—if they have the courage to act. Their sincere hopes and foolish naïveté make the teens’ desperate, grand gesture all that much more tragic.

Riveting, brutal and beautifully told. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-74126-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

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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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