Lavish and thrilling—a reward for readers who have awaited its release.

THE SILVERED SERPENTS

From the Gilded Wolves series , Vol. 2

Chokshi channels National Treasure vibes in her intriguing follow-up to The Gilded Wolves (2019).

Haunted by the death of his brother, Séverin determinedly searches for the artifact he is certain will absolve him of both his sins and his humanity—The Divine Lyrics, a book which is rumored to contain the secret to rebuilding the Tower of Babel, thus promising godhood and erasing pain, suffering, and guilt. Séverin hardens his heart and conceals his true intentions, both to guard himself and to ensure he accomplishes his mission for the friends whom he longs to protect. Séverin’s cruel front most hurts Laila, his mistress-for-show, and she, in turn, hides her deepest secret from him. Séverin, Laila, and the rest of their team—Zofia, Enrique, and Hypnos, patriarch of House Nyx—travel to a wintry Russia, where they are later joined by some unexpected cohorts, to explore the Sleeping Palace for The Divine Lyrics. This is a more cohesive and well-executed fantastical endeavor than its predecessor, allowing complex characterization to flourish—although the art of Forging, except for Laila’s ability to read objects with her hands, still seems vague. Themes, including visibility, grief, and sacrifice, permeate the story, driving it to breathtaking highs and heartbreaking lows. As before, the characters are richly diverse in ethnicity and sexual orientation; Zofia exhibits signs of being on the autism spectrum.

Lavish and thrilling—a reward for readers who have awaited its release. (Historical fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-14457-7

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 7, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 12

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

A thoughtful and thrilling story of life, death, and meaning.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2016

  • New York Times Bestseller

SCYTHE

From the Arc of a Scythe series , Vol. 1

Two teens train to be society-sanctioned killers in an otherwise immortal world.

On post-mortal Earth, humans live long (if not particularly passionate) lives without fear of disease, aging, or accidents. Operating independently of the governing AI (called the Thunderhead since it evolved from the cloud), scythes rely on 10 commandments, quotas, and their own moral codes to glean the population. After challenging Hon. Scythe Faraday, 16-year-olds Rowan Damisch and Citra Terranova reluctantly become his apprentices. Subjected to killcraft training, exposed to numerous executions, and discouraged from becoming allies or lovers, the two find themselves engaged in a fatal competition but equally determined to fight corruption and cruelty. The vivid and often violent action unfolds slowly, anchored in complex worldbuilding and propelled by political machinations and existential musings. Scythes’ journal entries accompany Rowan’s and Citra’s dual and dueling narratives, revealing both personal struggles and societal problems. The futuristic post–2042 MidMerican world is both dystopia and utopia, free of fear, unexpected death, and blatant racism—multiracial main characters discuss their diverse ethnic percentages rather than purity—but also lacking creativity, emotion, and purpose. Elegant and elegiac, brooding but imbued with gallows humor, Shusterman’s dark tale thrusts realistic, likable teens into a surreal situation and raises deep philosophic questions.

A thoughtful and thrilling story of life, death, and meaning. (Science fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4424-7242-6

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

more