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MONSTERS BORN AND MADE

Tanvi Berwah

Young Adult, Sourcebooks, 2022

*A BookRiot Must-Read South Asian Book of 2022*

She grew up battling the monsters that live in the black seas, but it couldn't prepare her to face the cunning cruelty of the ruling elite. Perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and Fable, this South Asian-inspired fantasy is a gripping debut about the power of the elite, the price of glory, and one girl's chance to change it all.

Sixteen-year-old Koral and her older brother Emrik risk their lives each day to capture the monstrous maristags that live in the black seas around their island. They have to, or else their family will starve.

In an oceanic world swarming with vicious beasts, the Landers―the ruling elite, have indentured Koral's family to provide the maristags for the Glory Race, a deadly chariot tournament reserved for the upper class. The winning contender receives gold and glory. The others―if they're lucky―survive.

When the last maristag of the year escapes and Koral has no new maristag to sell, her family's financial situation takes a turn for the worse and they can't afford medicine for her chronically ill little sister. Koral's only choice is to do what no one in the world has ever dared: cheat her way into the Glory Race.

 

But every step of the way is unpredictable as Koral races against competitors―including her ex-boyfriend―who have trained for this their whole lives and who have no intention of letting a low-caste girl steal their glory. As a rebellion rises and rogues attack Koral to try and force her to drop out, she must choose―her life or her sister's―before the whole island burns.

 

Reviews

"Berwah builds excitement with her well-crafted characters and storyline. Her world building is superb, and masterfully weaves in elements of the South Asian caste system. This book will leave readers eagerly awaiting a sequel" ― Youth Services Book Review, STARRED review 

"Berwah's worldbuilding is intense, depicting a cruel society in which the power-hungry elite are just as monstrous as the terrifying oceanic beasts...for dystopian fantasy fans seeking something fresh and savage" ― Kirkus

"Monsters Born and Made takes well-beloved YA tropes and turns them on their heads, creating an action-packed rallying cry against oppression and a riveting tale of one girl's desperation to survive no matter the odds." ― Roseanne A. Brown, New York Times bestselling author of A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

"An exhilarating race of willpower and defiance, set on an utterly unique world filled with glorious monsters." ― Xiran Jay Zhao, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of Iron Widow