cover image These Hollow Vows

These Hollow Vows

Lexi Ryan. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (464p) ISBN 978-0-358-38657-5

Ivory-skinned Abriella Kincaid, 17, refuses to consort with faeries, as her mother ran off with one nine years ago, forcing Abriella and her sister Jasalyn, 14, into indentured servitude. When the teens’ contract-holder sells Jas to sadistic Unseelie ruler King Mordeus, though, Brie vows to do whatever it takes to save her. Golden-skinned Seelie prince Ronan reportedly wants to marry a mortal, so Brie enters the faerie realm posing as a potential bride; she knows there’s an inter-court portal and hopes to use it to liberate Jas. But Mordeus foils her rescue, and demands that Brie steal items from the Seelie palace in exchange for Jas’s freedom. Brie has no qualms about double-crossing Ronan, and teams with light brown–skinned Unseelie rebel Finn to plan her heist. Then she learns that Ronan has been for two years living as a human—one for whom she has feelings. Romance author Ryan’s YA fantasy debut offsets florid prose and familiar tropes with tight plotting, efficient worldbuilding, and escalating stakes. Tension stemming from a swoon-worthy love triangle drives the tale when the action ebbs, and the denouement hints at a sequel. Ages 14–up. [em]Agent: Dan Mandel, Sanford J. Greenburger Assoc. (July) [/em]