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Sacred Scars (A Resurrection of Magic Series #2)

Sacred Scars (A Resurrection of Magic Series #2)

4.7 12
by Kathleen Duey
In the second volume of this powerful trilogy, Somiss, exiled and desperate, hoards the magic he is recovering from ancient documents while Sadima and Franklin struggle to contain his egomaniacal ambitions by secretly recording the magic, hoping to share it with humankind. Generations later, Hahp and Gerrard, students at Somiss’s brutal academy, endure the


In the second volume of this powerful trilogy, Somiss, exiled and desperate, hoards the magic he is recovering from ancient documents while Sadima and Franklin struggle to contain his egomaniacal ambitions by secretly recording the magic, hoping to share it with humankind. Generations later, Hahp and Gerrard, students at Somiss’s brutal academy, endure the painful ordeals used to “teach” magic. Their tenuous pact, forged to survive, falters as they plot to destry Somiss, the school . . . and set magic free.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Janis Flint-Ferguson
Although this is the second book in the "Resurrection of Magic" trilogy, it is a powerful, complete storyline that continues with the characters of National Book Award finalist, Skin Hunger. Hahp is a young man brought to the cliffs and caves that constitute the academy run by the wizard Somiss. Somiss is training six young men in the lost art of magic. He is not a pleasant instructor; his means and methods include starvation, isolation, and intimidation. But the young men follow his instruction and learn the songs of ancient times when magic was much more a part of daily life. Then, magicians earned their money by working with kings and dispensing power. But Hahp believes that in order to succeed they need to work together rather than in competition. Generations before Hahp lived Samid, whose story runs in alternating chapters. She falls in love with the magician, Franklin, but discovering Somiss's manipulation of magic, she escapes from the caves where they have all been hiding. Somiss catches and enchants her with amnesia and long life; she is hunted and bullied in the rogue South End of Limori, but builds a life for herself with a cheese maker who cares little for the magic that keeps Samid from growing old. Years go by and Samid becomes friends with the Eridians, followers of the legendary Erides who called people away from the magic that divided them and into a way of life that would bring people together. The stories of the two protagonists are years apart, yet they move toward an inescapable showdown. There is some modern cursing that is too contemporary for the unspecified setting and there is violence that may be troubling for younger readers. Reviewer: JanisFlint-Ferguson
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—In this sequel to Skin Hunger (S & S, 2007), Sadima is hiding in a cave system with Franklin and Somiss and struggles to make the best of her situation. Somiss has kidnapped some orphaned boys and is forcing them to learn to copy spells, and he experiments on them while trying to rediscover long-lost magic. In the future, Hahp and his roommate, Gerrard, also live in ascetic, prisonlike conditions in Somiss's magic school. Life is a struggle in both time lines since Somiss is cruel and untrustworthy. Alternating between the past and the future, this sequel plods along a dreary path. Sadima finally escapes, only to be caught and have her memory wiped away by Somiss. She never remembers her past, but her life is prolonged many years by the magic from her time with Somiss and Franklin. Hahp is trying to work with the other magic students to overthrow the wizards. This sequel does not explain much more than the first book, and there is no resolution. There is very little action in the first half of the novel, which simply sets the tone. This is definitely a book for serious readers with long attention spans who enjoyed the first title.—Corinda J. Humphrey, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Thrumming with dense, meaningful tension from first page to last, this middle installment in the Resurrection of Magic trilogy follows the two plotlines established in the first volume, Skin Hunger (2007), through despair, oppression and rare moments of hope. Sadima's thread begins in the caves, where she's repeatedly hand-copying sociopathic Somiss's research on ancient magic and (ostensibly) teaching caged boys to write. An escape leads to a brief, happy farm interlude and then an amnesia-based life the length of many lifetimes, caused by Somiss's sadistic erasure of her memory and her own previous singing of the "song of long life." The second thread, interwoven, follows Hahp through indeterminate years in the caves, in an epoch far later than Sadima's early section but possibly matching the end of her later one. The text so successfully portrays Hahp's experience in this grueling, cold-blooded wizard "academy"-isolation, starvation, abuse and constant, unsolvable puzzles-that readers may absorb his strain, confusion and desolation themselves. A single detail implies that Sadima's thread will converge with Hahp's in a heartbreaking way, but it could be a red herring. Absorbing and unwaveringly suspenseful. (Fantasy. YA)

Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
A Resurrection of Magic Series , #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.88(w) x 8.56(h) x 1.77(d)
Age Range:
12 - 14 Years

Read an Excerpt

- 1 -

Sadima sat cross-legged on the cold stone, just outside the cage. She was holding her slate so the boys could see the symbol she had drawn. Most of them were trying to copy it. Two stolen lanterns hung from the iron bars above their heads, held in place by some Market Square merchant's missing tarp hooks. The rest of the vast cavern was dark.

Sadima pulled at a loose thread in her ragged skirt, listening for the sound of Franklin's footsteps in the long entrance passage on the far end of the big chamber. Somiss had no coins to spend, and they needed everything, so Franklin had become a thief. He left the cliffs at dark and returned at dawn, carrying sacks of stolen goods, swaying like a farm mule under the weight. He was nearly always exhausted when he got back, ready to collapse on his blankets.

Sadima pushed her hair back over her shoulder, wishing Franklin would come, trying not to imagine him running, king's guards close behind him. Thieves were often hanged. If the guards realized who he was, it would be worse than that. Much worse.

Sadima tucked her skirt between her bare feet and the cold stone. She had shoes, but they were buried in a box in the woods. She had meant to go get them long ago, before winter closed in. But Somiss had forbidden her to leave the dark passages inside the cliffs, and she knew that if she disobeyed him, he wouldn't punish her. He would punish Franklin. Sadima lowered her head to keep the boys from seeing her fear -- and her anger.

Somiss was clever. He was used to servants, silk, delicate pastries, the endless round of entertainments in his father's royal house. So was Franklin, in his own way. Neither one of them had understood what it would mean to live in the caverns and tunnels they had found inside Limòri's cliffs. Neither one had even thought of blankets.

Somiss had been violent at first, raging at Franklin, at the cold, the darkness, his own hunger and thirst. But night by night, Franklin had robbed the rich of their heavy woolen comforters until there were enough for all to sleep upon and under. Then he had brought lanterns, water buckets, food, paper, ink quills -- and everything else.

Sadima looked up. Most of the boys had stopped drawing. "Let me see what you've done," she said quietly. Six of the ten turned their slates toward her. Four had fallen asleep sitting up, chalk wedged between their fingers or dropped on the floor.

Jux's copy was nearly perfect, and when she smiled at him, he sat up straighter. "You're all getting better," she lied, looking one by one into the faces of the boys who had at least tried. Most of them avoided her eyes. The biggest boy, Mabiki, lay down, yawning and dull eyed. His dark, curly hair was filthy and tangled and when he reached to push it off his forehead, his slate skidded sideways. Jux leapt up and grabbed it, then passed it through the bars. Sadima set it aside, glad it hadn't broken. Jux and Mabiki. None of the others would tell her their names. Jux had explained it -- only the king's guards and magistrates had ever wanted to know. It scared them.

Sadima wiped her slate and drew another symbol. She held it up and the boys started over. At first they had jostled and argued; it had been hard to make them sit still for their lessons. Now they barely spoke, barely moved. They had come from hard lives; they were street orphans. It hurt Sadima to imagine that. No warm suppers. No one ever looking out for them. She was sure none of them had ever held so much as a lump of charcoal to draw a game of jump-and-stop on a boardwalk. Still, somehow, Somiss expected them to learn to fair copy.

Jux was looking at his slate, correcting a line. He was the only one who could draw the Gypsy symbols accurately -- and he was by far the fastest at Ferrinides letters. Sadima smiled at him again and he smiled back, lifting his chin. She nodded, then looked at the other boys in the cage to keep from staring at the terrible rose-and-putty-colored scar that crossed Jux's throat and disappeared behind his ear. How old was he? Seven? Eight? Someone had already tried to cut his throat. And now Somiss had put him in a cage.

Sadima thought she heard a sound and turned, hoping to see Franklin's lantern, a tiny amber star shining from across the darkness of the big cavern. But he wasn't back. Not yet. She drew another symbol for the boys to copy. Then another.

It was a long time before Franklin finally returned, his back bent under the weight of the supplies he was carrying. Sadima jumped up and walked toward the light of his lantern, leaving her own behind to have both hands free to help him. He kissed her. She closed her eyes to feel the touch of his lips more clearly. He would sleep all day, then be gone again at dark. Dawn and dusk; these were the only moments they had together now. I miss you. She started to say it, but he spoke first.

"Has Somiss come out of his chamber?"

Sadima took one of the heavy bags from him, hitched it over her shoulder. "No."

Franklin nodded. "Good. He's angry about something."

"At you?"

He shrugged. "I don't know."

But he did know. She could tell.

copyright © 2009 by Kathleen Duey

Meet the Author

Kathleen Duey has written numerous books for young readers, including the chapter book series, The Unicorn’s Secret. She lives in Fallbrook, California.

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Sacred Scars (A Resurrection of Magic Series #2) 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
celticgirl64 More than 1 year ago
as in the first book,in the second Duey creates a suspenseful plot the completely hooked me in. I can't wait for the next. Note: you should read the books in order to really understand what is going on.
CAITLINRICH More than 1 year ago
Conchobar More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this second book in the Resurrection of magic series. The two stories begin to mesh more which was really great because now I find myself trying to predict when they'll completely become one. I love how the characters are evolving and the story is great too. I don't want to ruin anything for those who havn't read it yet, but I would recommend this book to anyone with even the slightest interest. You won't be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unlike anything I've ever read. A dark, strange novel. The best I've ever read.
ThePaperCritic More than 1 year ago
Sacred Scars, my first 5.0 rating; and it deserves far more credit than it’s given. As well, again there are two stories of Haph and Sadima, just like in Skin Hunger. However, this far, far surpassed Skin Hunger. The torture and darkness that surrounded Haph and his new lifestyle dig deeper into the shadows and the pain and tragedy. As well, there is something about how he deals with everything, how the constant starving ensues. Haph’s story took off right away, the darkness drove deeper into the core of everything. There was something about how Gerrard and Haph, as well as the other boys, deal with the life and death trials. Each of them being thrown off, like the boys are nothing more than simple toys, and there’s a lot of questions about why these events take place; what are the wizards, Franklin and Somiss, planning? As well, there is something about Franklin; the last time we saw him in Skin Hunger he had this kind, some sort of sincerity and now in Sacred Scars there some sort of weird sort of motive behind everything. I had some questions regarding his person. Sadima is another issue; she’s back in the cavern with the boys Somiss and Franklin have captured. Teaching them all to write, and beginning to tell them stories, to me they all seem to be more of Franklin and her past. What I enjoyed most about Sadima’s tale is when she puts her plan into action, and there is a given event that passes. She manages to show back up in what would normally be the suburbs of Limori. However, with no memory of whom she is or what she was before; it’s almost like the story folds in on itself and starts over. This makes the story new, and the loop it throws as she lives for years and years, lifetimes and lifetimes. Sadima’s story slowly closes the gap between her old one and Haph’s tale. This is the part that makes complete sense, the world around Sadima changes and her lifetime stretches far beyond that. There is just so much with this story and how it ends. There is a building, the world shifts constantly around Haph and Sadima. Every part of the fantasy screams perfection. The dark twisted, starving tale of Haph will get your blood boiling and show you a side of Somiss and Franklin not nearly visible before. Then Sadima’s tale keeps the mystery going, there is the world that changes the friends. As well, the world changes around her, as well, her past slowly comes into question; who she is, what she’s done. The book ends as any other middle book in a trilogy or a series. There are so many questions answered but nothing is so fully resolved that gives any sort of finish or end anything. There is a reason this book gets a 5.0 rating, and if anyone wants to reach for this pinnacle, pick up this book and take notes. The dialogue between the characters, the relationships change and even Sadima makes a decision that forever changes her life. The world building is fantastic; the darkness of Haph is breath-taking and original. The entire series deserves a lot of credit, and will more than always been on my top list of books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stephanie_DeLuca More than 1 year ago
I loved SKIN HUNGER and wanted to the story to continue, which is why I picked up SACRED SCARS. However, I did so without the highest of hopes since I usually am somewhat disappointed in books 2 & 3 of series when I love the first. But this book did not disappoint! Instead, it kept me engaged in the story and turning pages (like the first one did). Duey's crisp writing and sharp characterization made it a book worth savoring and appreciating. I'm looking forward to the release of book 3.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Solstice-Ballad1 More than 1 year ago
Sadima's & Hahp's story is even richer and more alluring than in the first novel (Skin Hunger). Duey's alternating of the two characters' stories leaves each chapter on the edge, right in the action. Can't wait for the third installment!
Lindsey_Miller More than 1 year ago
Kathleen Duey has once again given us one of the darkest books that I've ever read in the realm of young adult literature. At some level, I actually mean that as a compliment. There's a reason Skin Hunger won the awards it did, because it's brave and complex, and doesn't just succumb to the typical fantasy tropes that so many bad fantasy writers rely on to make their stories interesting. She writes with a depth that very few fantasy writers are able to accomplish. For Sacred Scars specifically, I personally liked it a little less than the first. Part of that may be that I've already gotten used to what made the first book so unique, but I think it's mostly that I honestly have a difficult time reading a book that's so dark and full of minute-to-minute cheek-biting drama. It's actually kind of exhausting. Not that I mind there being a third on its way, but I was kind of hoping this was a duo instead of a trio because I'm so mired into the story that I want it to end for the sake of my own sanity (of sorts. Certainly it's not quite that dramatic). Altogether, another brilliant book from Duey, whose ability to expose the darkness of the human psyche is almost unnerving. I recommend this to older readers looking for something more than the run of the mill fantasy book (or book in general). -Lindsey Miller, www.lindseyslibrary.com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago