Hitomi is a foreign-born street thief with dangerous secrets: untrained magical abilities and ties to the Shadow League, enemies of the corrupt Archmage. But even the haunted streets of Karolene are safer than what awaits her beyond its borders.
Broken-hearted but out of options, Cas Leung turned her back on the shore and signed on as Santa Elena’s trainee. But abandoned Bao isn’t the only Reckoner living wild in the NeoPacific – and they’re eating the sea empty. Can Cas persuade the pirates to risk their lives for the greater good?
In a deeply different nearly now, Britain is ruled by the Equals – those with the Skill to assert their rights. UnSkilled commoners owe ten years of their lives in slave labour, with no protection under the law. As they begin their slavedays, the Hadley siblings find themselves at the heart of the fight for the future.
When Donatella Dragma has her sister kidnapped to save her from an arranged marriage, Scarlett is taken to Caraval for the yearly interactive theatrical. But Caraval’s reputation is stained by death and madness, and Tella goes missing on the very first night. Can Scarlett avoid the traps and win the game to rescue her sister?
Twenty years after the Madness, the Settlement has turned its back on the disastrous ways of the City People, embracing self-sufficiency and fending off attacks by Ferals. But the children of this new age are different, manifesting new powers as they hit puberty. What will the Change bring for tight-knit twins Arika and Narrah?
The sun has seared the Earth. Food scarcity and water wars have devastated nations. Survivors have fled to the once-frozen North – and out into space – to try and make a new life. Welcome to the deserted islands of the Arctic, haunted by pirates and survivors.
I’m looking forward to joining a read-along of Joyce Chng’s The Tale of Yin duology (Of Oysters, Pearls and Magic and The Path of Kindness) starting later this month. If you fancy a set of linked short stories exploring women, magic, privilege, and compassion in a fantasy setting, you might like to join us.
Cas Leung trains genetically-engineered monsters to keep the rising seas safe. Kidnapped by a pirate queen to train a stolen monster and turn the tables, Cas must decide what she values most: the code she was raised to follow, or the lives of those she loves.
Young Binti is a genius, a daughter of a Namibian tribe that is isolated by choice. When she is invited – first of her people – to take a place at Oomza Uni, the foremost place of learning in the galaxy, she sneaks away to accept it. But she’s about to learn there’s more to be feared in the galaxy than her people’s disapproval…
A satisfying conclusion to the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, Dreams of Gods and Monsters follows hard on the heels of Days of Blood and Starlight in embracing the themes of war and redemption over the overwrought romance, although this inevitably features too. I think I'd have loved this if I had met it in my early/mid teens.
I'm a bit too cynical and crusty to get excited about YA romance tropes and narrative arcs now, but the finale – as the rest of the trilogy – is diverting and entertaining. Laini Taylor writes good fluff and if quite a lot still feels like wish-fulfilment, I remain amused that she turned this in on itself in Daughter of Smoke and Bone by making it clear that even within the bounds of her own tale – where wishes are possible – it is rampant wish fulfilment, and one disapproved of by the wish-granter at that.
Points for introducing angels of all colours, a whiff of a suggestion that angels are not all heterosexual (introduced if not explored) and for strong women outnumbering the strong men, with romantic relationships that make them happier rather than more capable. Further points for tackling some of the difficulties of forging an alliance between mortal enemies, given what past acts must be over-looked or forgiven and what behaviours must be changed for the future; points lost for this feeling more than a little simplified (but hey, this is firmly YA fiction; I'll cut it some slack).
That said, I was mildly irritated to have