Briar Queen

Katherine Harbour. Harper Voyager, $12.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-228676-5

In Thorn Jack, Harbour’s first Night and Nothing contemporary fantasy, Serafina “Finn” Sullivan lost her sister, Lily, to suicide; fell in love with a dark and immortal fae known as a Fata, who became the mortal Jack Hawthorn; and survived nearly being sacrificed before she and Jack killed the ancient Fata queen, Reiko. Finn just wants to live a normal life with Jack, but Seth Lot, another evil being, wants revenge for Reiko’s death. He lures Finn to the Ghostlands, a place of horrors worse than death, using a secret about Lily as bait. Armed with a few arcane items, Finn and Jack find dubious allies among Seth’s old enemies and gain the help of the mysterious Moth, who cannot remember what he is or why Lily told him to protect Finn. After a quiet beginning, the threats hammer at an unrelenting pace once the Ghostlands are crossed. Harbour makes love, suffering, and sacrifice the most poignant parts of her worlds, and readers with even the barest knowledge of fairy lore and legends will be pulled deep into this tale of sharp magic and its ruthless children. Agent: Thao Le, Sandra Dijkstra Literary. (June)