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Click to search this book in our catalog Fourth Wing
by Rebecca Yarros

Book list Basgiath War College trains healers, scribes, infantry, or dragon riders to protect Navarre from violent invasion attempts from the kingdom of Poromiel and their gryphon riders. Violet has trained her whole life to enter the Scribe Quadrant, just like her father did. Dedicating her life to recording the war history of Navarre, rather than participating in it, fits well with her intelligence, short stature, and overly flexible joints, which leave her prone to injury. But upon her father’s death, her mother, a decorated Navarrian officer, forces Violet to follow in her footsteps, and that of Violet’s siblings, and join the Riders Quadrant. Once bonded, riders channel powers through their dragons, greatly increasing the likelihood of success both in the college and at war. If that wasn’t challenging enough, Violet is being hunted by Xaden, a third-year cadet whose father was a rebellion leader executed at the hand of Violet’s mother. Hatred will draw him close to her, but will something more powerful and alluring make separating impossible? Suspenseful, sexy, and with incredibly entertaining storytelling, the first in Yarros' Empyrean series will delight fans of romantic, adventure-filled fantasy.

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal Violet Sorrengail wanted to be a scribe rather than join her siblings as dragon riders defending Navarre's borders, but her mother, a decorated general, had other ideas. She's forced Violet to enlist as a rider cadet in the Basgiath War College, even though Violet's hypermobility—a disorder that destabilizes her joints and leaves her easily injured—puts her at a disadvantage. To make matters worse, Violet has been assigned to the Fourth Wing, led by Xaden Riorson, the son of a rebel leader whom her mother executed. Surrounded by dangers in a school designed to weed out the weak, Violet must use her wits and skill to overcome brutal challenges and vicious opponents. The bonds Violet forms with her fellow cadets offset the college's constant violence, and her slowly developing enemies-to-lovers relationship with Xaden will appeal to fans of the trope. Violet's hypermobility gives her a unique way of moving through the world, and Yarros (The Things We Leave Unfinished) uses characters' reactions to thoughtfully explore the ways in which others respond to the lived realities of people with disabilities. VERDICT A good selection for fans of Naomi Novik's "Scholomance" series; will fly off the shelves.—Erin Niederberger

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Romance author Yarros (The Things We Leave Unfinished) blends the epic tale of a reluctant dragon rider’s coming-of-age with a sexy dark academia aesthetic in her astounding debut fantasy. Fearsome General Sorrengail demands that her children follow in her footsteps as dragon riders—even her youngest, Violet, who has trained her whole life to be a scribe like her late father. Forced to join a deadly war academy, Violet is unprepared to perform the fatal tasks all cadets must complete to become dragon riders. The odds are stacked against her due both to her delicate stature and to her mother’s reputation: it was Sorrengail who gave the order to execute all separatists in the last rebellion. The rebels’ orphaned children have all been conscripted to the academy, putting a target on Violet’s back. Worse, her own brooding but handsome wing leader, third-year student Xaden Riorson, is the son of the separatists’ leader. Meanwhile, the wards that protect the city are failing, but as danger draws nearer, clever Violet grows stronger, discovering that riding dragons may be her destiny after all. Yarros’s worldbuilding is intricate without being overbearing, setting the stage for Violet’s satisfying growth into a force to be reckoned with. Readers will be spellbound and eager for more. Agent: Louise Fury, Bent Agency. (May)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Oprah's Book Club
Click to search this book in our catalog River, Cross My Heart
by Breena Clarke

Library Journal: YA-Set in Georgetown, this poignant coming-of-age story begins with the drowning death of six-year-old Clara Bynum. Johnnie May, at 12, was supposed to be minding her the morning the children went down to the river, knowing they were not allowed to play near it, much less swim in it. The Bynums had come to Washington, DC, from North Carolina looking for a better life, and life for the colored in Georgetown in the 1920s was better: plenty of work and good schools for the children. But Johnnie May's independent spirit causes trouble from the beginning. She is always asking why-why couldn't she swim in the pool on Volta Place, right across from Aunt Ina's house? Why does she always have to mind her little sister and clean up after her? Johnnie May is a natural leader, and "knowing her place" is a struggle. The story, which follows the Bynum family and friends in Georgetown for about a year, ends in triumph as Johnnie May wins a swim meet held in the new pool built for black people. Much of the book describes Johnnie May's relationships with her mother, her relatives, and her friends, painting a revealing picture of a river, a family, and a community.-Molly Connally, Kings Park Library, Fairfax County, VA

Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

Publishers Weekly: Debut writer and Washington, D.C., native, Clarke has written a novel as lyric and alternately beguiling and confounding as its title. It is the story of the drowning of a six-year-old child, and the tragedy's ramifications for her family and neighbors in the black area of Georgetown in 1925 D.C. Clarke's scene-building skills are the novel's strengths and occasionally its weaknesses, as each chapter is an intense set piece that sometimes provokes more questions than answers. The story is ultimately that of the effects of Clara Bynum's death on her 12-year-old sister, Johnnie Mae, who was babysitting Clara at the time she fell into the river. Johnnie Mae suffers guilt, fear and loss, endures dreams, imaginings and confusion as she sees visions of her sister everywhere: in a trauma-stung classmate who wears braids like Clara's, and the vapor from a boiling pot of green beans that resembles her sister's face. Against a felt, poignant and meticulously detailed panorama of the African-American (then called "colored") community of Georgetown, Johnnie Mae struggles to find her bearings, to cope with institutional and family expectations, and with puberty and race. Johnnie Mae ultimately derives strength from her element, the water, as she becomes a talented swimmer, but her parents Alice and Willie struggle with inextinguishable grief. From the first vivid description of the Potomac, liquid elements provide themes and narrative tension in this plangent coming-of-age story, granting the reader a necessary, if temporary, distancing from the blunt fact of a dead child. Indeed, Clarke's research about African-American Georgetown in the early 20th century revisits a time and place as intricate as any, but so remote from most memories that the historical details are fascinating footnotes to an era. While authorial asides are sometimes intrusive, this is a haunting story. Agent, Cynthia Cannell.

Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

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