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The Children of Blood and Bone sequel has been announced!

We're so excited the Afrofuturist fantasy about Zélie, Amari, and Inan we've all read and adored, Children of Blood and Bone, will have a sequel AND the title, release date, and official synopsis have been set free! The sequel is titled Children of Virtue and Vengeance, hitting shelves in March 2019.

Yes, we know, we're waiting like:

via GIPHY

In the meantime, join us in reading (and re-reading, analysing and hypothesising about) the synopsis!

After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.

Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari's right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy's wrath.

With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.

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What some of our readers have been saying about Children of Blood And Bone: 

Children of Blood and Bone encapsulates everything that I love about YA fantasy. The world is amazing, the characters are so real feeling, the writing is perfect, the action is abundant, the romances are beautiful, the topics are important. This was such a fantastic read, I have no doubts that Children of Blood and Bone will make my best of 2018 list. 5 stars. - Melanie, QBD Doncaster

Blessed are the Brave. Set in the beautiful world of Orisha, you follow the story of handful of teenagers trying to write the wrongs of the past.Years after magic was taken from the diviners and all maji murdered Zelie grows up in the harsh lifestyle of being a diviner without Magic.
With the help of Amari and Tzain now is time to fight back, now is the time to rise and take back what was theirs. 3.5 stars.- David, QBD Mandurah

This book is amazing. With brilliantly fleshed out characters and excellent workd building Children of Blodd and Bone is a must read for fans of fantasy. It follows the story of Zelie as her world is burnt to ashes and she has to flea everything she has ever known to embark on a journey to save her people.
This book contains tragic backstories, intricately crafted magical lore, first love, betrayal, adventure, heart break, sword fights, magical duels, naval battles, mercenaries and it's all wrapped up in a captivating tale with more twists and heart-stirring moments than you would expect in a YA novel. Cannot wait for the next book in the series! 5 stars. - Rina, QBD Belconnen

Reviewsday: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

I’ve only read a couple of Holly Black’s books before picking up The Cruel Prince and while I enjoy the books before, I adored The Cruel Prince. From the very first page, I was entranced with the Fae world that Holly created. Second, guessing everything and not knowing what was going to happen next.

The Cruel Prince follows protagonist Jude ten years after she and her sisters witness their parents murder, are kidnapped and taken to the Fae world. Now they live in the High Court of Faerie and in a world that doesn’t accept them. Jude doesn’t fit into the Fae world and the fey don’t let her forget it. With the current King ready to step down, things are about to get more dangerous in the world that Jude lives.

One of my favourite things about The Cruel Prince was Jude. While she isn’t the most likeable protagonist out there, her voice and perseverance – just made the book. Jude is such an interesting protagonist and like most characters in the book, you don’t know what to believe. She has gone through a lot. Her parents were murdered in front of her, she lives with the murdered and is taken to a foreign world.

Her strength was a really big theme of the whole book. I loved seeing Jude stand up and be strong, no matter what was throw at her. And gosh she was pushed hard. At times it was really hard to read some of the things that Jude went through. What got me through it was Jude herself. I loved seeing another strong female character not only be challenged physically but mentally.

Jude’s family. There isn’t much I can say here without spoiling anything. But what I hoped wouldn’t happen did and that broke my heart. You can see that Jude does care for her sisters and what went down was so damn hard. It’s also a really interesting concept of family. She has her sisters, yes. However, she also lives with the man that killed her parents. It was intriguing to see the dynamic of this.

The Cruel Prince is filled with unreliable characters and it was fantastic! Seriously, I didn’t know what was going to happen next, because I didn’t know who to trust. Holly Black made her characters do things that I thought she would never do. You think one character is your friend and then bam! It’s not something that you get in YA and it was different to see.

Another thing that I loved about The Cruel Prince was the world. It’s fantastic and pulls your right in. Holly Black created a lot of layers in this world, with the basics of fae laws. I really enjoy that as it’s a great way to compare and contrast to other fae worlds. While at the start of The Cruel Prince it took me a little to get into the world, it wasn’t long before I was in love.

As I’ve said before, I had no idea what was going to happen throughout The Cruel Prince. You think something is going to happen and then it doesn’t. Then you think ‘oh she won’t do this’ and it does. It takes you on a world wind of emotions.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Cruel Prince. It’s addicting, dark and messes with your emotions. It’s a world of court intrigue and the conflict between Fae and humans. It explores the notion of being human and the emotions that come with it. It’s fast-paced with many twists and turns that throw you off. The Cruel Prince has set up a fantastic new series for Holly Black.

~Angelique, QBD Chadstone

Reviewsday: Circe by Madeline Miller

"Whatever you do, I wanted to say, do not be too happy. It will bring down fire on your head."

A lyrical reimagining of the myth of Circe, witch of Aiaia, with a feminist bent and gorgeously lush prose.

Circe was born of Helios and Perse, then banished to the island of Aiaia in punishment. Here she waits, perfecting her craft, until the hero Odysseus washes up on her shore after 12 long years of war and voyaging. Circe, wary of men and strangers, turns his crew into swine, but Odysseus charms her, staying a year in her bed and convincing her to release his men.

The book is a careful examination of a woman living in a patriarchal world, trying to discover and negotiate her own power, while still retain her humanity. Circe is a deeply flawed character, but those who surround her are flawed deeper still. Add a pantheon of jealous and beautiful deities, volatile heroes, an ancient breed of witchcraft reestablished and beloved, deadly monsters and you have a book that sings to the soul. Circe is a triumph for Madeline Miller and I hope everyone gets the chance to read it.

Interesting fact: The plant Circe uses in her pig-turning spell is thought to be Datura stramonium, a type of nightshade that causes hallucinations and delusions.

About the author:

Madeline Miller has a BA and MA from Brown University in Latin and Ancient Greek, and has been teaching both for the past nine years. She has also studied at the Yale School of Drama, specialising in adapting classical tales to a modern audience. The Song of Achilles is her first novel and was the winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction 2012.

 

Reading this book with your Book Club? Check out these great Reading Group questions to help spark your discussion!

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Reviewsday: The Shape Of Water by Guillermo Del Toro & Daniel Kraus

Del Toro can do no wrong it seems. His movies invoke the dark places within us all and his books do the same. The Shape of Water is a weird blend of love and horror that has found just the right balance.

It will have you on the edge of your seat as you unravel the tale of Elisa and her strange paramour. Read before you see the movie!

~Steven, QBD Cairns

It is 1962, and Elisa Esposito -mute her whole life, orphaned as a child -is struggling with her humdrum existence as a janitor working the graveyard shift at Baltimore's Occam Aerospace Research Center. Were it not for Zelda, a protective coworker, and Giles, her loving neighbor, she doesn't know how she'd make it through the day.

Then, one fateful night, she sees something she was never meant to see, the Center's most sensitive asset ever: an amphibious man, captured in the Amazon, to be studied for Cold War advancements. The creature is terrifying but also magnificent, capable of language and of understanding emotions... and Elisa can't keep away. Using sign language, the two learn to communicate. Soon, affection turns into love, and the creature becomes Elisa's sole reason to live.

But outside forces are pressing in. Richard Strickland, the obsessed soldier who tracked the asset through the Amazon, wants nothing more than to dissect it before the Russians get a chance to steal it. Elisa has no choice but to risk everything to save her beloved. With the help of Zelda and Giles, Elisa hatches a plan to break out the creature. But Strickland is on to them. And the Russians are, indeed, coming.

Developed from the ground up as a bold two-tiered release-one story interpreted by two artists in the independent mediums of literature and film-The Shape of Water is unlike anything you've ever read or seen.

 

Reviewsday: King of Ashes by Raymond E Feist

Brand new fantasy from the master of the genre!

With King of Ashes, scheduled for release in April 2018, Feist once again proves he is a master of epic fantasy. Unique world-building, memorable characters and political intrigue are all exquisitely rendered and the story moves at an incredible pace, pulling you into Feist's brand new world, Garn. The five kingdoms of Garn knew a long-lasting peace until King D betrayed King Steveren, destroying his kingdom and butchering his entire family. the Firemane's legacy was ended and the One Church gained a foothold in Garn, burning heretics and political enemies alike.

Apalled at the betrayal of a great king, Baron Daylon Dumarch takes it upon himself to hide the last remaining child, spiriting the baby away after the battle is over.

Hatu is an orphaned boy growing up in the shadow of criminal underworld, alongside best friends Donte and Hava. His 16th birthday approaches and he's almost ready to make his way into the world, when his friends are ripped away from him and he learns he is the long lost Foremane heir, thought long dead by his father's enemies. Hatu has to learn fast who he can trust and hone every skill he learned at the hands of the Nocusara.

It's also the story of Declan, a talented blacksmith who grew up under one of the last masters who taught him the secret of King's Steel. Whispers of a new war arising, and a perculiar family resemblance lead to Baron Daylon encouraging Declan to set up in his province, where his fate becomes entwined with Hatu's.

King of Ashes is a wonderful, easily read introduction to Feist's new world, and I'm looking forward to exploring Garn and watching the elemental magic introduced in this first novel expand.

Reviewed by Shannon, QBD Mandurah

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