cover image Ship of Smoke and Steel

Ship of Smoke and Steel

Django Wexler. Tor Teen, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-7653-9724-9

In this pulse-pounding epic fantasy, first in the Wells of Sorcery trilogy, a young woman with an uncanny affinity for combat magic is pushed to her limits when she’s sentenced to serve as crew aboard the mythical ghost ship Soliton. Eighteen-year-old Isoka, who can channel the Well of Combat to summon blades of energy, is given an ultimatum by the head of the empire’s magical enforcers: she must find a way to commandeer the ship and its power on behalf of the empire, or her sister will die. Soliton teems with hostile monsters and fellow exiles, all of whom also have mage-born talents, and Isoka must navigate the community’s precarious politics. As she repeatedly defies death in the ancient ship’s treacherous depths, she earns power and respect from the ship’s crew and officers while developing unexpected feelings for Meroe, a princess with her own dark secrets. When Soliton’s true nature is revealed, Isoka may be the only one who can save everyone aboard. In his YA debut, Wexler (Fall of the Readers) delivers an atmospheric adventure that expertly mixes visceral action sequences, a compelling mystery, a diverse cast, and vividly described settings. Ages 13–up. [em](Jan.) [/em]