cover image Champion of Fate

Champion of Fate

Kendare Blake. Quill Tree, $19.99 (480p) ISBN 978-0-06-297720-5

As the only survivor in her village following a raid, Reed is saved by the Order of the Aristene, a society of seemingly omniscient, immortal female warriors, in this thrilling fantasy duology opener from Blake (All These Bodies). Now 16 and having been raised in the mythical Aristene Citadel, Reed—described as being “big as an ox” and “strong like one, too”—dreams of joining their ranks and becoming a shepherd meant to guide heroes to victory. Finally allowed to begin her Hero’s Trial, Reed, supported by her mentor and her beloved horse, and joined by fellow initiate Lyonene, is tasked with helping Prince Hestion, whose country is on the brink of war, defeat the rumored prophet-killing king. If he fails, she will be forced to leave the Citadel. Curiosity-stoking worldbuilding paired with the characters’ fully fleshed-out histories—particularly the lore and the tight-knit relationships between the women of the Aristene—keep the story’s stakes high, and electric fight scenes proffer steady pacing. Characters are described as having varying skin tones. Ages 14–up. Agent: Adriann Ranta Zurhellen, Folio Literary Management. (Sept.)