Henry Holt & Company: The Eighth Detective by Alex Pavesi

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Wicked as You Wish

A snow queen has cursed a magical land into endless winter; only a chosen warrior can remove a sword from a stone; the last of a royal line is in hiding; and a group of elderly Filipino aunties and uncles are magical warriors known the world over for their lethality. In Wicked as You Wish, Rin Chupeco (The Bone Witch trilogy) boldly mixes fairytales, myths and contemporary culture into unusual, exciting and oddly familiar combinations.

Tala, a "spellbreaker" who negates magic, was born in Avalon. Her Scottish father and Filipino mother were among the protectors of the kingdom until the Wonderland Wars 12 years ago, which led to the total destruction of Wonderland and Avalon's encasement in ice. Now refugees living in the Royal States of America, Tala's family agrees to harbor Prince Alexei Tsarevich, the exiled prince of Avalon. When the legendary firebird arrives, it both verifies Alex's right to take the throne and totally blows his cover. Helped by a group of trained warrior teens sent by a mysterious figure known as the Cheshire, Tala and Alex escape the Royal States and begin a dangerous trip to recover Avalon.

Chupeco's fusing of myths and fairytales with the contemporary doesn't simply take known stories and translate them into the 21st century, it blends the familiar with the made-up until her entire world has a feeling of the uncanny about it. Cellphones have "spelltech" on them, ICE seeks out immigrants from magical countries, Yamato Takeru wielded the same sword as Alice Liddell and the Nottinghams are rumored to talk to wolves. In the end, it all makes glorious sense. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness