UWM alum’s new young adult novel wins critical acclaim

Makiia Lucier. Images: portrait from thefandom.net ; book images from amazon.com .

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In her latest young adult novel, Year of the Reaper, author Makiia Lucier (UWM MLIS, 2007) delivers a fantasy world that feels all too real. Lucier takes us to a medieval country known as Olivieras, which has been at war with its neighbor Brisa for over half a century. The origin of this war is not made known, but the beginning of the war is not as important as what happens next.

In the midst of this war, a new terror has arisen—a plague that leaves church bells and burned bodies in its wake and an alliance between Olivieras and Brisa with a royal marriage.

In this world Lucier creates, she reminds us there is no sense in war when there is no one left to fight in it.

Note: “CHamoru,” a variant of “Chamorro,” refers to the indigenous people of the Mariana Islands, politically divided between the United States territories of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Micronesia (Wikipedia ).

A rich and captivating YA (young adult) standalone fantasy that’s perfect for fans of Brigid Kemmerer, Rachel Hartman, and Naomi Novik, from the writer whose stories have been called “brilliant” (Booklist), “masterful” (Horn Book), and “breathtaking” (School Library Journal), comes a captivating new standalone fantasy. In the aftermath of a devastating plague, a young lord is determined to discover the truth behind a mysterious attempt to assassinate the young queen.

Three years ago, young Lord Cassia disappeared in the midst of war. Since then, a devastating illness has swept the land, leaving countless dead and a kingdom forever altered. Having survived war and plague, Cas, now eighteen, wants only to return to his home in the mountains and forget past horrors. But home is not what he remembers.

His castle has become a refuge for the royal court. And they have brought their enemies with them.

An assassin targets those closest to the queen, drawing Cas into a search for a killer. With the help of a historian-in-training named Lena, he soon realizes that who is behind the attacks is far less important than why. Cas and Lena must look to the past, following the trail of a terrible secret—one that could threaten the kingdom’s newfound peace and plunge it back into war.

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