cover image Creatures of Charm and Hunger

Creatures of Charm and Hunger

Molly Tanzer. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-358-06521-0

Two apprentice diabolists explore dangerous magic in WWII-era Britain in the enthralling final installment of Tanzer’s Diabolist’s Library trilogy (after Creatures of Want and Ruin). Miriam Cantor wants nothing more than to discover the fate of her parents, who were part of the diabolist resistance against the Nazis until they disappeared. Miriam’s foster sister, Jane Blackwood, is preoccupied with becoming a master diabolist, motivated by her fear of the painful fate of being “rendered for parts” that awaits apprentices who fail to meet expectations. As both girls delve deeper into the diabolic arts, Jane to ensure her safety and Miriam to find her parents, their friendship is tested and they must each answer the question of how much they’re willing to sacrifice. Tanzer captures both the atmosphere of the novel’s gritty, war-torn world and the adolescent voices of her struggling protagonists. Moral ambiguity abounds in this dark, captivating coming-of-age fantasy that expertly depicts the painful loneliness of growing up and apart. Series fans and new readers alike will be entranced. Agent: Cameron McClure, Donald Maass Literary. (Apr.)