Wings of Ebony tells the story of Rue, a Black teen from Houston, who also happens to be half-god. When her mother is shot dead on her doorstep, Rue learns of her absent father’s heritage – and why he’s been forced to stay away. Soon, and against her will, she’s taken to the magically hidden island of Ghazan, where she’s given the gift of magic, but restricted from ever returning to where she grew up, East Row.
But with the anniversary of her mother’s death approaching, Rue can’t help wanting to go back to her old neighbourhood and check up on her little half-sister, Tasha. So, her and her Ghazani friend, Bree, develop the means for her to leave the island undetected… But things quickly spiral out of control when Rue’s forced to save her sister’s life in a near-fatal accident.
And soon Rue learns her two worlds, that of East Row and Ghazan, are not so disconnected after all.
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There were so many things that drew me to this book initially, and I’m not just referring to the gorgeous cover art. A West African-inspired feminist high fantasy series about warrior women? It’s no exaggeration to say The Gilded Ones had one of the best premises I’d ever heard of. And was, of course, one of my most anticipated reads for 2021!
And let me start by saying, that this book did not let me down. In fact, it exceeded my expectations. Pushing the boundaries of my assumptions for YA fantasy, The Gilded Ones went far beyond what I ever could have imagined. It’s rare to find a widely anticipated book that not only meets but surpasses your hopes – but on this front, The Gilded Ones most certainly delivers.
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Lava Red Feather Blue is a modern-day, urban fantasy, queer re-telling of Sleeping Beauty. But unlike in the fairy tale, this story doesn’t end when the princess – or in this case, the prince – awakens. In fact, that’s where the story begins.
Merrick Highvalley is an endo witch (a witch who can alter only himself), and a descendent of the infamous Rosamund Highvalley, the only witch to ever possess all three magical abilities (endo, exo, and matter); the witch who famously put Prince Larkin into a deep sleep over 200 years ago. But what history books don’t know is that Prince Larkin – hailed as being the most benevolent prince to ever exist after sacrificing himself to help put Ula Kana, a evil fire fae, to rest as well – was entrapped against his will by Rosamund Highvalley herself.
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Hush, a YA dystopian fantasy novel, tells the story of Shae, a 17-year-old girl who lives along with her mother in a small farmhouse outside a poor village. The village itself on the skirts of a barren, wasteland where ink and all forms of reading and writing have been banned due to the ill fate, aptly titled the “Indigo Death,” or more common, simply the “Blot,” that befalls anyone who participates in such activities.
In a world where any form of documentation is prohibited, collective consciousness rules. But because of the constant fear surrounding everyone’s existence – worried that even one small thought or misplaced comment will cause illness to befall them – what is considered “the truth” is often a warped view on reality. And with no documentation to prove as much, people’s opinions are easily swayed.
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Fable lives by five simple rules her father, the infamous pirate captain, Saint told her before abandoning her on Jeval, an island on the edge of the world inhabited by thieving mercenaries.
Following these rules is what helped to keep Fable alive. But when she escapes Jeval with the crew of the Marigold, a small rag-tag group of traders, in search of her father (who has promised to give her what’s owed to her if she can return to him), she finds her world-view may need some adjusting. And going against Saint’s rules – the ones which dutifully kept her alive for so long – might be exactly what she needs to do to survive.
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