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By Tanaz Bhathena. 2020
GUL haS SPENT HER LIFE RUNNING. She has a star-shaped birthmark on her arm, and in the kingdom of Ambar,…girls Bhathena with such birthmarks have been disappearing for years. Guls mark is what caused her parents murder at the hand of King Lohars ruthless soldiers and forced her into hiding to protect her own life. So when a group of rebel women called the Sisters of the Golden Lotus rescue her, take her in, and train her in warrior magic, Gul wants only one thing: revenge. Cavas lives in the tenements, and hes just about ready to sign his life over to the kings army. His father is terminally ill, and Cavas will do anything to save him. But sparks fly when he meets a mysterious girlGulin the capitals bazaar, and as the chemistry between them undeniably grows, he becomes entangled in a mission of vengeanceand discovers a magic he never expected to find. Dangerous circumstances bring Gul and Cavas together at the kings domain in Ambar Fort . . . a world with secrets deadlier than their own. Inspired by medieval India, this is the first in a stunning fantasy duology by Tanaz Bhathena, exploring identity, class struggles, and high-stakes romance against a breathtaking magical backdrop.
By Jamal Saeed, Sharon E. McKay. 2020
Coming of age against all odds in the midst of the Arab Spring. Growing up in Aleppo, Yara’s childhood has…long been shadowed by the coming revolution. But when the Arab Spring finally arrives at Yara’s doorstep, it is worse than even her Nana imagined: sudden, violent, and deadly. When rescuers dig Yara out from under the rubble that was once her family’s home, she emerges to a changed world. Her parents and Nana are gone, and her brother, Saad, can’t speak—struck silent by everything he’s seen. Now, with her friend Shireen and Shireen’s charismatic brother, Ali, Yara must try to find a way to safety. With danger around every corner, Yara is pushed to her limits as she discovers how far she’ll go for her loved ones—and for a chance for freedom. Crafted through the focused lens of Jamal Saeed’s own experiences in Syria and brought to life with acclaimed author Sharon E. McKay, Yara’s Spring is a story of coming of age against all odds and the many kinds of love that bloom even in the face of war. Black-and-white interior drawings by award-winning illustrator Nahid Kazemi lend vivid detail to the novel. *A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection