SHIMMER AND BURN
In the first chapter alone, readers will experience a wide range of emotions, from heartbreaking agony to the sweetness of young love to the thrill of adventure — and back to agony once more. Both Faris and North are strong, complicated characters with good hearts. Other characters, including Alistair, are difficult to trust and yet impossible to write off completely. Taranta’s writing is nearly poetic and casts its own sort of magic. Readers should brace themselves for the last few chapters, and start stalking the internet for word on a sequel!
Faris has lived an isolated life in the kingdom of Brindaigel but refuses to abandon the legend of Avinea. After an escape attempt goes horribly wrong and Faris’ sister is captured, Faris agrees to be magically bound to the desperate-to-be-queen Princess Bryn in order to save Cadence from slavery. But when the stolen magic puts Faris and Bryn in danger, they must rely on their handsome rescuer, North, to keep them safe until they can fulfill their mission. In a world where clean blood, free from magic’s poison, goes to the highest bidder, who will win and who will lose everything? (MARGARET K. MCELDERRY, Aug., 336 pp., $17.99, HC, 12 & Up)