cover image This Fatal Kiss

This Fatal Kiss

Alicia Jasinska. Peachtree, $19.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-68263-737-1

After mysteriously drowning in the river near the tourist town of Les´na Woda at 16, Gisela became a rusalka, or a water nymph. She longs to reunite with her family, but the only way to return to her human life is to kiss a mortal. Her attempts have been foiled by reclusive Kazik, the 16-year-old grandson of a late witch who views Gisela as an evil spirit demonizing the town. Upon informing Kazik of the quickest way to dispatch her, Gisela sets her sights on Aleksey, Kazik’s former classmate. But Kazik is interested in Aleksey too, and when Aleksey returns both Kazik and Gisela’s admiration, the trio become tangled in a web of complicated feelings. Yet Aleksey is not all he seems to be either, and he may know more about Gisela’s plight and the death of Kazik’s grandmother than he’s letting on. Jasinska (The Midnight Girls) employs Gisela, Kazik, and Aleksey’s alternating perspectives to spin a delightfully queer polyamorous romance teeming with splashes of ethereal magic. As the trio’s relationship unfolds via charming banter and self-conscious uncertainty, secrets heighten the tension in this historical fantasy that’s inspired by Slavic folklore. Protagonists cue as white. Ages 14–up. Agent: Rena Rossner, Deborah Harris Agency. (Sept.)