Older’s second Shadowshaper Cypher title expands the startling paranormal world, while also confronting the real-world difficulties they face on a daily basis, from racism to police brutality to school hostility. The inclusion of black West Indian/Afro Latinx culture and transformative friendships throughout this book lends a fascinating and refreshing element to a series that already feels wonderfully distinctive, and the inclusion of new and intricate mythologies is sure to keep readers entranced. Newcomers owe it to themselves to read this series in order to appreciate the unique magic in all its forms.
Sierra and her friends are relishing their lives as artists and shadowshapers. But when Sierra receives an extraordinary card from the mysterious Deck of Worlds, she realizes that the Shadowshaper’s next fight is coming to them. Even as Sierra and Shadowhouse prepare for a battle with the Deck’s dark master and his Hound of Light, the world around them begins to simmer with anger and unrest, thrusting the shadowshapers into the forefront of a battle against the systemic oppressions that threaten their community, forcing them to fight for everything they know and love. (ARTHUR A. LEVINE, Sep., 368 pp., $18.99, HC, 13 & Up)