Intense, raw, real, and sure to please.

REAPER OF SOULS

From the Kingdom of Souls series , Vol. 2

Arrah is back and saving the world in this sequel to Kingdom of Souls (2019).

With the magic of multiple chieftains’ kas coursing through her, Arrah is now the only person with the strength to release the Demon King, which means she must stay away from him lest this event trigger cataclysmic events. As Arrah attempts to make her way in a world still reeling from the actions of her deceased mother and sister, she’s tormented by thoughts from the Demon King that infiltrate her mind. Added to this are surfacing memories of Dimma, the Unnamed orisha, that frighten Arrah because she does not know where they are coming from. Chapters shift in perspective between Arrah, her love interest, Rudjek, and Dimma’s memories. The stakes are high with the fate of many hanging in the balance: Arrah, Rudjek, and their friends and allies faced incredible challenges in the previous book and also in this installment, but perhaps most terrifying of all is what Arrah must face within herself. This story, with its remarkably well-spun plot twists, will satisfy readers who crave realness in their fantasies and is a satisfying, fast-paced, and almost brutal sequel that sets the stage for the third book. Most human characters are Black; some people from the North (like Rudjek’s mother) have light skin.

Intense, raw, real, and sure to please. (map) (Fantasy. 13-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-287098-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The plotting is powerful enough to carry most readers past flaws and into the next book in the series.

SHADOW AND BONE

From the Grisha Trilogy series , Vol. 1

In a Russian-inflected fantasy world, an orphan comes into immense power and, with it, danger.

When the Grisha came to test inseparable friends Alina and Malyen, neither showed any aptitude for the Small Science. Years later, they are in the army, Alina in the cartographer corps and Mal a tracker. They are escorting the Darkling, the most powerful Grisha in the land, across the terrifying Shadow Fold that divides Ravka’s heart from its coast. An attack by the terrifying volcra brings forth a power Alina never knew she had: She is a Sun Summoner. The charismatic, quartz-eyed Darkling takes her to the palace to learn the art of the Etherealki, and Mal is left behind. Bardugo allows the details of Grisha magic to unfold with limited exposition, using Alina's ignorance for readers' benefit. While Alina's training borrows familiar tropes (outlander combat teacher, wizened-crone magic instructor, friends and enemies among her peers), readers will nevertheless cheer her progress. But the worldbuilding is continually undercut by clunky colloquialisms; such phrases as "Well, that's completely creepy" and "It's okay" yank readers out of this carefully constructed, mostly preindustrial world. Readers may also be troubled by the sexualization of power found in its pages.

The plotting is powerful enough to carry most readers past flaws and into the next book in the series. (classification of Grisha types, map [not seen]) (Fantasy. 13 & up)

Pub Date: June 5, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9459-6

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more