cover image The Midnight Girls

The Midnight Girls

Alicia Jasinska. Sourcebooks Fire, $18.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-72821-001-8

The teen servants of three brutal legendary witches compete to obtain princes’ literal hearts in this fierce sapphic adventure set in an alternate 18th-century Poland. Imbued with powers such as riding the wind and manipulating the elements, each fetches the organs to power her ancient mistress: Beata, White Jaga’s servant, is known as Morning; Marynka, known as Midday, serves Red Jaga; and Black Jaga’s servant, Zosia, is called Midnight. When Beata and Marynka are dispatched to Warszów to obtain the exceptionally pure heart of Prince Józef, they soon encounter Zosia. As the three compete for the same prize amid the revels of the winter Karnawał season, Marynka and Zosia slowly discover a mutual attraction born of competition, danger, and shared monstrosity, but neither can afford to fail her unforgiving mistress. A raw chemistry links the duo, turning discord into wary courtship without blunting either’s passions or wits, and allowing for plenty of satisfying conflict. Jasinska (The Dark Tide) mingles human fears and goals with sharp-edged default-white protagonists in this rewarding high-stakes novel, drawing from Slavic fairy tales to craft an intriguing tale of bitter rivals exploring their bond. Ages 14–up. Agent: Rena Rossner, the Deborah Harris Agency. (Dec.)