cover image Master of One

Master of One

Jaida Jones and Dani Bennett. HarperTeen, $18.99 (544p) ISBN 978-0-06294-144-2

Classic YA fantasy tropes break into a fast-paced fantasy revolution whose heart, grit, and consequences are more than the sum of its parts. When 16-year-old thief Rags is caught stealing, royal sorcerer Morien gives him an offer he can’t refuse: either die or search a trap-studded ruin in the eerie Lost-Lands, once home to the extinct black-boned fae. Rags finds glass-entombed—and charmingly literal—fae prince Shining Talon and mechanized lizard One, the first sentient fragment of an overwhelmingly powerful weapon that humanity twisted against its own fae makers. Compelled to locate the weapon’s other fragments and the human masters who can wield them—and help Morien’s autocratic, deathless Queen crush a struggling Resistance—characters including a fae, a common thief, a defector, a banished noble scion, and a disabled prince with a “withered side” must decide whose side they’re on. Jones and Bennett (the Volstovic Cycle, for adults) overcome a misleadingly simplistic opening act to deliver a smart, stakes-loaded LGBTQ fantasy well worth sticking with, for fans of Six of Crows and Megan Whalen Turner. Ages 13–up. [em]Agent (for Jones and Bennett): Tamar Rydzinski, Context Literary. (Nov.) [/em]