A subtly magical and romantic story of personal growth.

“The most beautiful things are wild.”

For Tana, magic comes as naturally as breathing. It soothes her mind and heart as only the sea surrounding the island of the Witchery can. The weights of destiny and duty sit heavily on her: She is to be engaged to Landon, the mainland governor’s son who is “decent and kind,” to secure legitimacy and protection for her coven. When Tana meets Wolfe, a mysterious boy who turns everything she thought she knew about her world and her magic upside down, she finds herself torn for the first time between what is expected of her and what she truly wants. Griffin crafts a richly detailed world that leaves vivid sensory impressions. Tana is an honest, open narrator who easily draws readers in to empathize with her struggles with her world and herself. Supporting characters, by contrast, feel almost nebulous at times—more representatives of ideas or ideals than fully realized individuals, though they intrigue nonetheless. The love triangle refreshingly feels almost ancillary to the protagonist’s journey of self-discovery and empowerment. Although genre-savvy readers might find the plot predictable at times, it never loses momentum and will keep pages turning right to the end. Blue-eyed, chestnut-haired Tana reads White; there is diversity in skin tone in the supporting cast.

A subtly magical and romantic story of personal growth. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2023

ISBN: 9781728256153

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2023


There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.

The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013


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

Close Quickview