Cover image for Bruja born / Zoraida Córdova.
Bruja born / Zoraida Córdova.
Publication Information:
Naperville, Illinois : Sourcebooks Fire, [2018]
Physical Description:
336 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.
Still feeling broken after her family's battle in Los Lagos, Lula invokes a dark spell to bring her boyfriend and others back after a fatal bus crash, but unwittingly raises an army of hungry, half-dead casimuertos, instead.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
COR Book Teen Collection

On Order



Three sisters. One spell. Countless dead.

Lula Mortiz feels like an outsider. Her sister's newfound Encantrix powers have wounded her in ways that Lula's bruja healing powers can't fix, and she longs for the comfort her family once brought her. Thank the Deos for Maks, her sweet, steady boyfriend who sees the beauty within her and brings light to her life.

Then a bus crash turns Lula's world upside down. Her classmates are all dead, including Maks. But Lula was born to heal, to fix. She can bring Maks back, even if it means seeking help from her sisters and defying Death herself. But magic that defies the laws of the deos is dangerous. Unpredictable. And when the dust settles, Maks isn't the only one who's been brought back...

Brooklyn Brujas Series:
Labryinth Lost (Book 1)
Bruja Born (Book 2)

Praise for Labyrinth Lost:
A Bustle Best Book
A NPR Top YA Book
A Paste Magazine Best Book

"A richly Latin American, giddily exciting novel." --The New York Times
"The best new series of the year." --Paste Magazine
"This work is a magical journey from start to finish..." --School Library Journal, starred review

Author Notes

Zoraida Cordova is the award-winning author of The Vicious Deep trilogy and the Brooklyn Brujas series. Her short fiction has appeared in the New York Times bestselling anthology, Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View, and Toil & Trouble: 16 Tales of Women and Witchcraft. She is a New Yorker at heart and is currently working on her next novel. Send her a tweet @Zlikeinzorro.

Reviews 1

New York Review of Books Review

First love, shocking family secrets and witches that prowl the streets of Brooklyn in three novels to kickstart summer escapes. WHAT IS THE color of love or of loss? And, more important, how might they color our lives? In her lyrical and suspenseful fantasy novel, THE ASTONISHING COLOR OF AFTER (LITTLE, BROWN; 480 PP., $18.99; AGES 14 AND UP), Emily X. R. Pan explores love, depression and suicide, and the terrible places where those three intersect. Leigh's mother, Dory, has taken her life on the very day of Leigh's first kiss with Axel, the friend that Leigh has loved for years. Leigh is driven by her art and by the way she understands emotion and events through color. So when a red bird arrives on the night of her mother's funeral, calling out her name , Leigh knows it is her mother in a new form. The bird's delivery of a box containing a jade necklace and photographs sets in motion a trip to Taipei with her American father, where she will meet family she was unaware of and finally uncover the long string of secrets that helped bring her mother to despair. The novel is chilling in its suspense in two main plot lines: how her relationship with Axel grew, and the source of her mother's depression. Pan makes the surreal events hover somewhere between magical realism and hallucination, with lush details of Leigh's time in Taipei providing an expansive look inside Taiwanese culture. With the aid of incense sticks Leigh finds in a drawer and the personal objects she must destroy in order to get to the visions of past, she is able to revisit events and memories - her own and those of her loved ones. This device can sometimes feel forced, but the larger questions it raises - how and why do we remember events? - is compelling. And the slow reveal of Leigh's relationship with Axel and the events that led to her mother's despondency offer a satisfying payoff. The anatomy of any suicide is a painful one for the survivors. But here is where Pan's novel shines most. She never shies away from the awful questions that are left in the wake of such a loss. Who is at fault? Did we love her wrong? How did we fail? But with each flashback and discovery about that long year when she was faling in love - and when her mother was falling apart-what emerges is a story about love with all its limitations and complications, and the story of how a girl and her passions can survive it. "FROGGY WELSH THE FOURTH IS trying to get inside my jeans." So begins Carolyn Mackler's the universe is expanding and SO AM I (BLOOMSBURY, 304 PP., $17.99; AGES 14 and UP), the long-awaited sequel to "The Earth, My Butt and Other Round Things" (though it stands on its own, too). And what has happened to the curvaceous Virginia Shreves since last we met? Lor one thing, she's discovered that she's not willing to stick with a boyfriend at all costs, as she might have done earlier. But more important, it's time for Virginia to figure out how to survive as part of an affluent and image-obsessed New York City family. Her brother, Byron, finally faces the legal consequences of participating in a drunken date rape of Annie Mills at Columbia University. Complicating matters is that after a chance meeting at a bagel shop, Virginia starts falling in love with the one guy in the world she shouldn't be dating at all: Annie's brother, Sebastian. The themes of social and familial estrangement and body image that grounded the earlier work remain strong. Virginia's parents continue their toxic focus on body type, fitness and achievement. (This is, after all, the world of going to Harvard, country homes in Connecticut and yoga studios in your backyard - and of wondering if that pesky rape charge will be held against the family at the country club.) Classmates still make crude comments about "thick girls" and the "chubby chasers" who fall for them. Mackler captures the maddening thoughtlessness of it all as Virginia and Sebastian's love blooms during secret dates at well-known New York City locations like the High Line and the Brooklyn Bridge. Lor much of the novel, Virginia is still in mortal combat against her own insecurities and the tendency to see everyone - especially herself - through the lens of body type and beauty. And the male gaze, even from a decent guy like Sebastian, still holds power. But she is, in fact, expanding. She's aspiring, now openly, to be a writer, standing up to her parents' views and decisions , and replacing her list "How to Make Sure Skinny Girls Aren't the Only Ones Who Have Boyfriends" with a more bodypositive focus. If Byron's comeuppance might seem to fall a bit short, especially in the face of the #MeToo movement, Virginia's struggle to access her voice and her agency does not. Readers will root for her as she figures out the conflicting terrain of loving family and loving yourself at the same time. Borget your worries about the zombie apocalypse. It's the casimuertos you should really fear. IN BRUJA BORN (SOURCEBOOKS FIRE, 352 PP., $17.99; AGES 14 AND up) the latest from Zoraida Córdova, Lula Mortiz, freshly returned from her banishment to the underworld realm of Los Lagos, leads an adventure against classmates who've become the bloodthirsty undead. Lula's sweet and mere mortal boyfriend, Maks, dumps her, leaving her longing to find a way to restore things between them to how they've always been. But when a bus crash on the way to a soccer game kills the entire team - and leaves Maks in a coma - Lula, the lone survivor, makes a decision about how far she's willing to go to keep him with her. With the help of her magical sisters, Alex and Rose, she decides to use her healing powers to bring Maks back. Unfortunately, Lady La Muerte, the goddess of death, wants him, too. And magic of this kind brings unexpected consequences not just for Maks, but for all the formerly dead students. The gods - and Lulu's parents - are not at all amused. It's not long before Lula discovers the horrible choices involved in fixing things that her magic has made gravely wrong. Córdova keeps the flame on high as Lulu and her sisters strike risky deals and face demons in an effort undo their mistake. At times, the plot complications are tricky to follow - this is the second book in Cordova's "Brooklyn Brujas" series - but the action is never less than satisfying, and, more, the fantasy is cleverly anchored to the very relatable details of the novel's Latinx characters. There are truth serums disguised as cafecitos, herbs with magical powers, prayer altars and characters hailing from Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, and Argentina. Brooklyn and all its "haunts" are on full display, too: the N train, Coney Island, Prospect Park, Bay Ridge - nowhere is safe! In Cordova's world, the Brooklyn we love is also a borough where particularly evil brujas run bakeries and where old brownstones serve as headquarters for the magical pros who keep order over all things mystical in the tristate area. Pantasy and zombie fans looking for flavor - organ-meat, in particular - will not leave disappointed. meg MEDINA is the author of "Burn, Baby, Burn" and many other books for young readers. Her next novel, "Merci Suarez Changes Gears," will be published in September.