Duey (the Hoofbeats series) uses a challenging dual-narrative format to tell a complex story in this first book in the A Resurrection of Magic series. Sadima is born into a world where magic has all but disappeared and the only remaining magicians are charlatans and tricksters. But Sadima knows that magic is real, because of her ability to communicate with animals. When she turns 17, her father dies, and she departs to live with the intense young scholar Somiss and his servant Franklin, who both work feverishly to decode and transcribe bits of real magic that still exist. In order to help, Sadima learns to write and discovers treachery amidst her new companions. The second narrative takes place an unspecified number of years later, when more magic has returned to the world. Hahp, a boy whose wealthy father wants to get rid of him, sends him to a dark and vicious school, where the boys are told they will likely die in the process of learning the magic arts; Somiss is the school's secretive headmaster, Franklin the teacher and extreme food deprivation a primary teaching method. Hahp's tale is told in first-person while Sadima's is in third-person; Duey's world is complicated enough without the additional layer of obfuscation this structure provides. Ages 12-up. (July)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
VOYA - Brenna Shanks
This first novel of a planned trilogy, A Resurrection of Magic, introduces two parallel story lines, that of Sadima, a girl whose ability to communicate with animals brings her to the attention of Somiss, a fanatic intent on rediscovering old magic, and that of Hahp, a young man living generations later who is forcibly inducted into magic's secret arts. Sadima must hide her magic from her father and brother because a charlatan magician was responsible for her mother's death when she was born. Hahp, the son of a wealthy, abusive father, is given to the magicians as a last resort after he has failed in many other schools. At the school, he is paired with a beggar boy whose ambitions could save or doom him. Central to both stories are Somiss, the leader of the magicians in Hahp's era, and Franklin, Somiss's servant and an instructor at the school. Sadima's attraction to Franklin brings her into Somiss's sphere and begins the cycle of magical resurrection that becomes deadly by Hahp's time with only a few apprentices surviving to become magicians. This novel sets up an intriguing story, but it unfolds slowly. Descriptions and settings are well drawn, and the characters are interesting enough to make up for the gradual pace. This series will appeal to teens who love detailed fantasy worlds, and readers will want to find out what happens next.
KLIATT - Cara Chancellor
Sadima has always been able to understand animals. In her brother's eyes, that makes her crazy. In her father's eyes...well, she has been too terrified to tell her father, since the only "magician" he has ever seen is the one who killed her motherwhile she was giving birth to Sadimaand robbed them blind. Then, a young man named Franklin appears. He not only understands Sadima, but also offers her the guidance of a burgeoning scholar, Somiss, who is working to resurrect real magic in the world. When Sadima's father dies, she follows after the man, determined to discover her talent (and she is a little bit in love). Hahp has never cared for his father, and now the dislike has turned to hatred. A rich merchant who abuses his wife, Hahp's father has decided to rid himself of his second son altogether by shipping him off to be trained as a magician. Not much is known about the wizard school, except that it is hidden deep within a maze of caves and few who enter its doors ever graduate...or live. As Hahp begins lessons with the kind-hearted, ancient Franklin and terrifying, white-haired Somiss, he is forced to examine his humanity, his motives, and, surprisingly, his remarkable talent. Duey's narrative alternates between Sadima and Hahp, who live an unnamed number of years apart but whose fates are ruled by the same two men, albeit in different stages of their lives and powers. Both tales are compelling enough to have been novels in their own right, and Duey's magical combination will appeal to nearly any semi-advanced audience. The one disappointment in the book is its cliffhanger ending, which assures that readers will be anticipating the clearly foretold sequel, but which doesnot do the narrative justice in its own right.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up Sadima grows up on a farm with only her brooding father and brother, Micah, for guidance. She can hear the thoughts and feelings of animals and meets Franklin, who believes in and encourages her. Several years later her father dies, and Sadima travels to the far city of Limòri to find Franklin. He is the friend and property of Somiss, a noble in self-imposed exile, who seeks to find the old magic that has been outlawed and disappeared from the land. Both men believe that conditions will be better for the people with the return of magic and the downfall of the king. Many years later, Hahp's father, a rich merchant, leaves him at the magic academy run by mysterious and cruel Somiss. The boys are kept filthy and starving until a few master the technique of creating food from a magical stone and learn other lessons. Hahp vows to live through the training in order to seek revenge on his father and to destroy the academy. This fantasy novel is the first of a planned trilogy and follows two separate time lines using alternating chapters. Both histories are cut short at crucial points until a sequel can finish them. The characters are well developed, but the sequels will have to provide more action to fill out the story.-Corinda J. Humphrey, Los Angeles Public Library
This double-narrative fantasy begins slowly but deepens into a potent and affecting story of struggle. First, a small farm boy begs a magician (healer) to help his mother through childbirth, but the magician's corrupt and leaves the baby on the floor and the mother dead. The baby is Sadima. Sadima grows up able to read animals' minds and eventually seeks the city, where she joins two intense young men: tempestuously abusive Somiss, madly trying to capture ancient languages of magic, and Franklin, serving Somiss with odd devotion. Somiss claims his work will restore banned magic and help the poor. In a second story line, a boy named Hahp is sent to a magician's academy where he's starved, abused and taught meditation. Only one boy will live to graduate as a wizard, and they're forbidden to help each other survive the filth and hunger. Some painful connections between the two narratives emerge, though key details-and the fates of Sadima and Hahp-wait for the sequel. Darkly resonant. (Fantasy. 10-14)
From the Publisher
"Beautifully written, fierce, and unforgettable." Holly Black, author of Tithe