THE SEARCH FOR DELICIOUS

What is the definition of Delicious? The King's all for apples, the Queen favors Christmas pudding, and soon the entry in Prime Minister DeCree's dictionary is a bone of contention throughout the court. Alarmed, the King dispatches young Gaylen, DeCree's foster son and Special Assistant, to take a poll of the whole kingdom. But the Queen's churlish brother Hemlock has preceded him, and the question not only raises tempers, it also seems to prove Hemlock's contention that the King plans to ban certain foods. In short order, the country is on the brink of civil war between Squashies and Crisps. So far it's a spoof of society; then Gaylen discovers, in encounterswith a woldweller, dwarfs and the winds, what the reader already knows—that long ago, before they withdrew in disgust at the folly of men, Ardis the mermaid lost the whistle that opens the door to the spring house under the lake that's the source of all water; her doll is there, and she still wants it back. Though the storm in a saucepan tempts Gaylen to echo the spirits' "It's nothing to me," loyalty and love and his own humanity prevail, and, realizing that he has the whistle (bestowed by a minstrel descended from Ardis' diverster), he bargains for her help in thwarting Hemlock's plan to dam the lake and gain control of the kingdom. A tricky, twisty plot but an intriguing one, stylishly spun by the author of The Forty-ninth Magician and other short conceits; she's doing the drawings also, which should be something to look forward to.

Pub Date: April 14, 1969

ISBN: 0312369824

Page Count: 196

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1969

DIVINE RIVALS

Ideal for readers seeking perspectives on war, with a heavy dash of romance and touch of fantasy.

A war between gods plays havoc with mortals and their everyday lives.

In a time of typewriters and steam engines, Iris Winnow awaits word from her older brother, who has enlisted on the side of Enva the Skyward goddess. Alcohol abuse led to her mother’s losing her job, and Iris has dropped out of school and found work utilizing her writing skills at the Oath Gazette. Hiding the stress of her home issues behind a brave face, Iris competes for valuable assignments that may one day earn her the coveted columnist position. Her rival for the job is handsome and wealthy Roman Kitt, whose prose entrances her so much she avoids reading his articles. At home, she writes cathartic letters to her brother, never posting them but instead placing them in her wardrobe, where they vanish overnight. One day Iris receives a reply, which, along with other events, pushes her to make dramatic life decisions. Magic plays a quiet role in this story, and readers may for a time forget there is anything supernatural going on. This is more of a wartime tale of broken families, inspired youths, and higher powers using people as pawns. It flirts with clichéd tropes but also takes some startling turns. Main characters are assumed White; same-sex marriages and gender equality at the warfront appear to be the norm in this world.

Ideal for readers seeking perspectives on war, with a heavy dash of romance and touch of fantasy. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-250-85743-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023

SHATTER ME

Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre.

A dystopic thriller joins the crowded shelves but doesn't distinguish itself.

Juliette was torn from her home and thrown into an asylum by The Reestablishment, a militaristic regime in control since an environmental catastrophe left society in ruins. Juliette’s journal holds her tortured thoughts in an attempt to repress memories of the horrific act that landed her in a cell. Mysteriously, Juliette’s touch kills. After months of isolation, her captors suddenly give her a cellmate—Adam, a drop-dead gorgeous guy. Adam, it turns out, is immune to her deadly touch. Unfortunately, he’s a soldier under orders from Warner, a power-hungry 19-year-old. But Adam belongs to a resistance movement; he helps Juliette escape to their stronghold, where she finds that she’s not the only one with superhuman abilities. The ending falls flat as the plot devolves into comic-book territory. Fast-paced action scenes convey imminent danger vividly, but there’s little sense of a broader world here. Overreliance on metaphor to express Juliette’s jaw-dropping surprise wears thin: “My mouth is sitting on my kneecaps. My eyebrows are dangling from the ceiling.” For all of her independence and superpowers, Juliette never moves beyond her role as a pawn in someone else’s schemes.

Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-208548-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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