A light choice for those seeking a fairy-tale adventure.

HEARTLESS PRINCE

From the Heartless Prince series , Vol. 1

Princess Evony fights a witch to save the prince she loves.

Orphaned as a baby when a witch attacked her kingdom, Evony was raised by the royal family of neighboring Gallea, which is protected by a magic barrier tied to the heart of its prince. Nineteen years later, the witch returns to steal the prince’s heart, and Evony comes to the rescue—and learns the truth about her own past. After Evony’s adventures with witches, magical creatures, and a blind seer, a small cliffhanger prepares readers for the next installment. The graphic novel is drawn in a recognizably modern Disney style with the clear influence of Japanese manga. Our heroine fights using two sickles and wearing a short, fluttery skirt and thigh-high, high-heeled boots, an outfit reminiscent of Sailor Moon’s. The artist uses color skillfully to create setting and mood, but the art lacks polish overall, and the characters’ faces, in particular, can be awkward. This is unlikely to bother casual younger readers, but it prevents the volume from shining. Though the story is fun and will appeal to those who appreciate magic, sword fights, and princesses who save princes, the story is not especially original or riveting. All the characters appear White.

A light choice for those seeking a fairy-tale adventure. (Graphic fantasy. 12-16)

Pub Date: Nov. 30, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-368-02835-6

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

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This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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Witty and funny, with well-rounded characters who face complex inner moral issues.

HOUSE OF DRAGONS

From the House of Dragons series , Vol. 1

In a world dominated by order, chaos threatens to upend tradition when unlikely competitors are chosen to fight for the throne.

Emperor Erasmus is dead, leaving the Great Dragon to decide the future of the Etrusian Empire. Traditionally, the oldest child from each of the five Houses and his or her dragon compete for the throne. However, this time outsiders are called to compete: Chara and her rider, Emilia, youngest daughter of House Aurun, who holds the magic of chaos; Tyche and her rider, Lucian, reformed warrior of House Sabel; Karina and her rider, Vespir, the lowborn, lesbian servant girl and dragon handler of House Pentri; Dog and his rider, Ajax, the wily illegitimate son of House Tiber; and Minerva and her rider, Julia, who are challenged by Hyperia, who believes the throne is her birthright, and her feral dragon, Aufidius. During the stages of the Emperor’s Trial—the Hunt, the Game, the Race, and the Truth—each competitor faces their own personal weaknesses. Multiple perspectives create depth in this complex fantasy world with flawed human characters who have murder, destruction, thievery, and cowardice in their backgrounds. Cluess’ dragons have unique personalities and voices of their own, becoming as central to the story as their human riders. Most characters are cued as white; blonde hair and blue eyes are valorized. Vespir’s lesbian identity is neatly and naturally woven into her character.

Witty and funny, with well-rounded characters who face complex inner moral issues. (map) (Fantasy. 12-16)

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-64815-4

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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