cover image Of Light and Shadow

Of Light and Shadow

Tanaz Bhathena. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $21.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-374-38911-6

A spoiled prince and an infamous outlaw forge an unlikely alliance in this dazzling adventure by Bhathena (the Wrath of Ambar series), set, according to an author’s note, in a fantastical version of 17th-century India. Roshan Chaya, an orphan raised by the feared Shadow Bandit, has succeeded her adopted father as leader of the Shadow Clan, a gang of marauders fighting to reclaim their land from the oppressive regime ruling the kingdom of Jwala. When happenstance leads Roshan to inebriated Jwalian Prince Navin—who is half human and half mythological peri—Roshan kidnaps Navin. She believes, with him as her hostage, that she can force Jwala’s cold, indifferent ruler to meet the clan’s demands. But Navin, gifted with persuasive soul magic, proves a worthy match for Roshan’s own innate abilities. The two engage in a game of scheming and manipulation as they suppress their undeniable attraction for each other and test their individual allegiances. A heavy dependance on exposition and in-world, glossary-reliant terminology muddles an otherwise engaging plot, but enthralling action sequences, intricate magic systems, and steamy romance make for an urgent adventure. Characters read as having central Indian ethnicity. Ages 12–up. Agent: Eleanor Jackson, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. (May)