about what happens. There are glimmerings
of a love triangle here, but the focus remains
squarely on Kamzin’s brutal trek through the
icy mountains, a fascinating, fantastical twist
on early expeditions to Mount Everest. Add in
a detailed, well-realized setting, an unsettling
villain that lingers just off the page, and buckets of danger to result in an utterly inventive
and wholly original debut. —Maggie Reagan
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns.
By Julie C. Dao.
Oct. 2017. 384p. Philomel, $18.99 (9781524738297).
How far would you go to fulfill your destiny?
That is the question that plagues 18-year-old
tic destiny, but one she can achieve only if she
embraces the evil blood magic that lives within
her. Armed with her aunt’s prophecy and the
love of Wei, a modest village boy, Xifeng makes
her way to the Imperial City with one goal in
mind: to become the Empress of all Feng Lu.
Set in an Asian-inspired fantasy realm, Dao’s
debut novel is a masterful reimagining of the
early life of Snow White’s evil queen. Subverting the all-too-white world of fairy tales, this
novel will trap readers in a lush, dangerously
dark, and often beautiful world from which
they will want no escape. While Xifeng is
undoubtedly our antiheroine, her character
is richly drawn, complicated, and, at times,
vulnerable; her relentless pursuit of power is
a welcome contrast to princesses of the past,
who seldom had the confidence or strength to
determine their own destinies. —Rebecca Kuss
The Glass Spare.
By Lauren DeStefano.
Oct. 2017. 416p. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, $17.99
(9780062491282); e-book, $17.99 (9780062491336).
Wilhelmina is the fourth child of the king
of Arrod, and from birth, she’s been unique.
There’s the strange birthmark between her
ribs, the queen’s assertion that even death fears
her, and her ability to turn living things into
rare jewels—something she’d prefer to hide
from her power-hungry father, who would
use her gift/curse to support his war on the
Southern Isles. On the run after inadvertently
turning her beloved older brother to diamond,
Wil encounters Loom, the crown prince of
the Southern Isles, who is exiled from his own
kingdom and considering patricide. Loom
wants Wil’s help to save his country, even if he’s
under a curse that prevents him from living
there. Can these two cast-off royals find com-
mon ground and maybe even be good for each
other? A captivating and well-written fantasy
adventure, this is less edgy than DeStefano’s
Chemical Garden series and boasts a feisty
female lead afflicted with a Midas-like touch
and surrounded by foes, friends, and family,
all of which will engage readers’ emotions. The
ending indicates a sequel that readers will anx-
iously await. —Cindy Welch
The Hearts We Sold.
By Emily Lloyd-Jones.
Aug. 2017. 400p. Little, Brown, $17.99
(9780316314596). Gr. 9–12.
It’s been years since the demons revealed
themselves. For a simple bargain, everyone now
knows, demons can make
a wish come true. For Dee
Moreno, a boarding-school
student with a troubled
home life, wishes aren’t the
solution to anything; she
doesn’t need to make a deal
to get what she wants. In
fact, that’s exactly what she
tells the demon she finds knitting on a park
bench outside a hospital, and it’s the truth, until he tells her that only the people who want
to make a deal can see a demon. When Dee’s
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