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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Fans of empowering feminist fairy-tale retellings will love this.

THE GRIMROSE GIRLS

From the Grimrose Girls series , Vol. 1

Four reimagined fairy-tale heroines must confront their inner demons to break a curse.

Ella, Yuki, and Rory attend the prestigious Grimrose Académie for Elite Students in the Swiss Alps. They are currently grieving the death of one of their best friends, and while Ari’s death by drowning has been deemed either an accident or suicide, her closest friends have their doubts. When they find an old book of fairy tales hidden in Ari’s things, full of strange annotations in her handwriting, the girls start working—along with new student Nani—to investigate Ari’s suspicious death. As they put together the pieces and discover other deaths that happened at Grimrose, they start to wonder if there was magic involved in Ari’s death—magic that may also be at the core of their very lives, cursing them to unhappy endings. Grief, identity, and friendship intersect in this enthralling mystery with dark magical undertones that ingeniously plays with fairy-tale tropes to tell a feminist story about empowerment and grappling with how to break away from the confines of societal expectations of girls. Reminiscent of the works of Anna-Marie McLemore and Elana K. Arnold, this book ends with the promise of more to come. The main cast is queer and features diversity in disability and mental health. Rory and Ella default to White; Yuki’s name cues her as Japanese, and Nani is Black and Native Hawaiian.

Fans of empowering feminist fairy-tale retellings will love this. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 26, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-72822-887-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 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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