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  1. Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey

    Thursday, October 22, 2009

    Sadima lives in a time where magic is banned, leaving only frauds to prey upon the unsuspecting. A "magician" stole her family's valuables and left her mother to die during childbirth, giving her family a hatred of these trickster magicians. But Sadima carries a secret, that she can silently communicate with animals. Rumors of Sadima's gift reach Somiss, a man obsessed with restoring magic to the world and he sends his servant, Franklin, to seek her out. She comes to love the man with whom she was first able to share her ability but Franklin is trapped by his bond to Somiss and cannot leave him.

    Centuries later Hahp is forced by his father to attend a magic academy where not only must he compete against nine other boys to graduate and become a wizard, but he must fight to be the one to live through the education.

    Book one of A Resurrection of Magic Trilogy caught my eye as I was shelving the YA section at work. The cover is attention grabbing and the description intriguing.

    Told as stand-alone stories, the tales of Sadima and Hahp might have proved dull, but Duey alternates between narratives each chapter. Instead of disrupting the flow of the novel, Duey actually cleverly distributes the pacing and tension. The world is realised without making the story overcomplex and without the need for long descriptions to explain it. The two narratives told side by side balance one another, with Sadima's sweetness and romance balancing out the grittiness of Hahps situation. By weaving the two stories together in this fashion she strengthens both tales. Sadima's tale is told in third person, whereas Hahps is in first person.

    I loved the dark tone of this book. A shadow is cast over Sadima's life from the very events surrounding her birth and then heightened by the dark actions and obsessive, controlling behaviour of Somiss. Hahp's past life of privilege is contrasted against the grim, windowless school where he lives a life of fear, frustration, discomfort, and starvation. Then, in looking back at memories of his life before, even those times become tainted in realising the depth of his father's cruelty and his mother's sadness. I also like how this darkness is achieved without the need to resort to any graphic violence and yet the story maintains a physicallity, especially with Hahp.

    This delightfully dark piece of young adult fiction is a surprising find when you look at the list of other titles to Kathleen Duey's name and realises that most of her writings are junior series with titles such as The Unicorn's Secret, The Fairies Promise, and Hoofbeats. I do hope she continues to delve into YA after A Resurrection of Magic Trilogy.

    The ending left me unsatisfied but in a way that made me want to read the rest of the trilogy and find out the "true ending." There is little sense of resolution in Skin Hunger but in some ways that suits the dark tone of the book where you might find yourself wondering if a "happy ending" is even possible. The next book in the series is Sacred Scars and the third is yet to be announced.

    Terra
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  2. 5 comments:

    1. Melissa said...

      Sounds like a good book. Thanks for the review.

    2. This does sound good. I have not heard of it till now. I will be adding this trilogy to my list. Thanks!

    3. I haven't heard about this til now and it sounds great. Thanks for the review!

    4. If you read Sacred Scars, I hope you like it! I intend to continue writing dark YA and books for younger readers.

      all best,
      k

    5. Terra said...

      Hi, Kathleen. Thanks for the comment!

      My library is yet to get Sacred Scars so the plan is to go ahead and buy the series so far when my budget allows for my next book shopping spree. If Sacred Scars is even half as good and well written as Skin Hunger then I am sure I will love it.

      It is great to hear that you plan to continue with the dark YA as well as your work for younger readers. I look forward to seeing what else you come up with after A Resurrection of Magic.

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