Shades of Rust and Ruin Published by Bloomsbury USA on September 6, 2022
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Family / Siblings, Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy / Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction / Steampunk
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New York Times bestselling author A.G. Howard launches a dark and compelling new YA fantasy series about a girl whose family is cursed by Halloween.
Phoenix “Nix” Loring knows her family is under a Halloween curse. When she was three, her parents tragically died on October 31st. Eleven years later, her twin sister Lark suffered a similar fate.
Ever since, Nix has battled survivor guilt. She can't even find comfort in Clarey, Lark's boyfriend and the one person who understands her pain, because Nix's hidden feelings for him go far beyond friendship. All that remains are her sketches, where she finds solace among the goblins and faeries in her imaginary world of Mystiquel. When her depression starts affecting her ability to see color, Nix all but gives up on her art, until her uncle goes missing on Halloween day. Hot on his trail, Nix and Clarey step through a portal, becoming trapped inside a decaying version of their town filled with Nix's own sketches come to life.
As Nix and Clarey search for her uncle within the sinister and dangerous world of Mystiquel, Nix discovers there's more to her family curse and otherworldly artwork than she ever imagined-and unless she can solve the Goblin King's maze before the clock strikes midnight, her life won't be the only one the curse claims next.
Set in a gritty, atmospheric world filled with magical creatures, New York Times bestselling author A.G. Howard launches a thrilling new fantasy full of romance, twists, and betrayals.
Shades of Rust and Ruin is a tale about twin sisters whose mother wanted to keep her children and did so knowing that she was breaking a bargain with the Goblin King. Unfortunately, lark and Phoenix’s family have made a bargain with the Goblin King. As a result of disregarding this pact, Lark loses her sister to death and believes her family to be cursed, and every year on Halloween, she holds a vigil to keep what remains of her family safe.
Take the familiar themes you have probably read in many dark fantasy stories about the Goblin king, such as bargains, fey needing humans to fuel their world, and fairy fruits with enhancements. And blending it with technology and Halloween makes this a unique tale. A.G. Howard’s descriptions of the world Mystiquel draw you into this world that, for Phoenix, is just ink and paper tells she learns it is not. I thoroughly enjoyed the steampunk elements blended with the technology and the dark aspects of the fey world.
If you like stories about Halloween, dark bargains with fey, and the Goblin King, pick this one up today.