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Skin Hunger (A Resurrection of Magic Series #1)

( 33 )

Overview

Sadima lives in a world where magic has been banned, leaving poor villagers prey to fakes and charlatans. A "magician" stole her family's few valuables and left Sadima's mother to die on the day Sadima was born. But vestiges of magic are hidden in old rhymes and hearth tales and in people like Sadima, who conceals her silent communication with animals for fear of rejection and ridicule. When rumors of her gift reach Somiss, a young nobleman obsessed with restoring magic, he sends Franklin, his lifelong servant, ...

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Overview

Sadima lives in a world where magic has been banned, leaving poor villagers prey to fakes and charlatans. A "magician" stole her family's few valuables and left Sadima's mother to die on the day Sadima was born. But vestiges of magic are hidden in old rhymes and hearth tales and in people like Sadima, who conceals her silent communication with animals for fear of rejection and ridicule. When rumors of her gift reach Somiss, a young nobleman obsessed with restoring magic, he sends Franklin, his lifelong servant, to find her. Sadima's joy at sharing her secret becomes love for the man she shares it with. But Franklin's irrevocable bond to the brilliant and dangerous Somiss traps her, too, and she faces a heartbreaking decision.

Centuries later magic has been restored, but it is available only to the wealthy and is strictly controlled by wizards within a sequestered academy of magic. Hahp, the expendable second son of a rich merchant, is forced into the academy and finds himself paired with Gerrard, a peasant boy inexplicably admitted with nine sons of privilege and wealth. Only one of the ten students will graduate — and the first academic requirement is survival.

Sadima's and Hahp's worlds are separated by generations, but their lives are connected in surprising and powerful ways in this brilliant first book of Kathleen Duey's dark, complex, and completely compelling trilogy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Beautifully written, fierce, and unforgettable." — Holly Black, author of Tithe
Publishers Weekly

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 mother—while she was giving birth to Sadima—and 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

Kirkus Reviews
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689840944
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 9/30/2008
  • Series: A Resurrection of Magic Series , #1
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 687,572
  • Age range: 12 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathleen Duey’s works include the middle grade American Diaries and Survivors series, as well as the well-reviewed chapter book series The Unicorn’s Secret and its companion series, The Faeries’ Promise. She is also the National Book Award–nominated author of Skin Hunger. She lives in Fallbrook, California.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 33 )
Rating Distribution

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(23)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2008

    No Need For A Bookmark

    One of the best books i have read EVER!!!! I didn't want to put it down once i started. The way Kathleen Duey was so brutally honest in her descriptions kept me right in the book. There is always a reason to keep reading. I can't wait until the next books come out.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Natalie Tsang for TeensReadToo.com

    Despite what the cover may say, Kathleen Duey's SKIN HUNGER, first installment of her fantasy trilogy A RESURRECTION OF MAGIC, is not a novel. It's a third of a novel. Or maybe it's two novels. Maybe it's a sixth. But anyway you slice the cake, it's not enough. <BR/><BR/>The book alternates chapters narrated by Sadima, a farm girl, and Hahp, a second born son of a cruel merchant. The catch is that they live several generations apart. One in a world that desperately needs magic and the other in one saturated and corrupted by it. <BR/><BR/>The story opens on the night Sadima is born. Her family is cheated by a fake magician, who instead of assisting in the birth, steals their valuables and lets her mother die. Unsurprisingly, Sadima grows up in a family that hates magic and she is forced to hide her gift of understanding animals. Franklin, a servant of a young nobleman named Somiss, finds her and tells her about his belief that magic will solve all the problems of the world. Together, the three try to rediscover magic. Hahp is sent to an academy of magic. There are nine other boys. Eight of them come from wealthy families and the ninth, Hahp's roommate, is a mysterious peasant named Gerrard. Unlike Franklin's lofty ideals of teaching everyone magic, here everyone must earn the right to learn. And those who do not or cannot will die. <BR/><BR/>I think this book will appeal to both boys and girls. Initially, each protagonist seems to represent the traditional story of their gender. For Sadima, the girl, it is a love story and for Hahp, the boy, it is an adventure story. At first, I thought the sweetness of Sadima's part was a nice balance to Hahp's grittier and darker part. Over time, the two stories blur together. What Sadima does is now inextricably connected to Hahp's outcome and the future explains the past. <BR/><BR/>The book is extremely vivid and well thought out. Kathleen Duey creates many unique, strong, and complex major characters. It is undeniably a very dark book, but the main characters are too optimistic and hopeful to make it depressing. Even though it is 357 pages, the font is larger than normal and I finished it in one sitting. And as hinted in the beginning, (and I hope I'm not giving too much away), the story ends with a teeth-gnashing cliffhanger. <BR/><BR/>I really like how the story is aimed at ages twelve and up, but does not dumb down or gloss over the grittier aspects of life, such as the death of a loved one and the difficulties and consequences of making your own decisions. At the same time, I hesitate to recommend this book to grade school and possibly junior high students. If it were a movie, the violence would probably give it an "R" rating. However, the blood and gore is never gratuitous and always serves to improve the story. I have seen more graphic writing in historical fiction aimed at this age group, such Donna Jo Napoli's STONES IN WATER. It also has the same amount of emotional turmoil in any of the later HARRY POTTER and HIS DARK MATERIALS books. Not for the faint of heart, but still a great first book in what seems to be an addictive trilogy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2008

    10 out of 10!

    I found 'Skin Hunger' to be glued to my hands! I couldn't stop reading it! It was a thrilling adventure that not just suprised me but drew me in to love it. I highly reccomend it! You will love this beautiful yet grimly written novel!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2008

    Awesome

    An intriquing book that you can't put down. 2 different times and differnt characters that begin to connect. I can't wait for the next book in the triology to find out what happens to Sadima and Haph and more about their world

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2007

    Wonderful...

    I found this book by chance really, i was searching through fantasy books and this came up. It seemed interesting so i bought it. It was just what i was hoping for.. not only well written but the stories connect throughout the books in surprising ways. i cant wait till the next one!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Hungry for more! I'm off to buy the sequel!

    My first thought about the book was that it was written in an unusual style; switching back and forth between two different but connected times and places. Once I got past this, I was thrown into a dark but intriguing world of magic and survival. I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN!

    On the downside I'll admit that, because the author made me feel such a strong connection to Hahp and Gerrard, I was less interested in what Sadima, Franklin, and Somiss were doing in the alternate chapters.

    You should definitely read this book if you're looking for something raw, edgy and a little bit different. This book deserves a lot more popularity!

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  • Posted September 26, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    You think its two books in one

    Great story, good character development. Loved reading the two stories and love the way that they slowly weave into one another.

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  • Posted August 15, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    This book is absolutely amazing!!

    I'll be honest. I picked up this book because I was intrigued with the cover art. I flew through it in a matter of hours and started the second one. The stories of Sadima and Hahp are truely unforgetable. This is one of my favorite books!

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  • Posted May 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great x 10000

    I've never read a book like this one with two completely different character from two different periods of time. When I started reading it I was imediately captivated by events that I will not tell you about. Duey does an incredible job of portraying the conditions exactly as they are, so much so that you can imagine it completely in every detail. I would support anyone who has an interest in reading it to do so because you will not be disappointed.

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  • Posted May 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    worst book ever

    I got this book thinking that it would be a really good book because I read the back of the book to see what's the book about. And it seems ok. But once I started reading it. I was so lost and after a few couple of chapters that is when I realized that its two different stories. And its the same thing over and over again in every chapter.And the two stories doesn't even connect to each other. I had to drag myself to finish to book because I hate leaving a book unreaded. There is no action, no plot, its not really thrilling to read. please do not read this book, you will be very sorry that you even bought the book.

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  • Posted May 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Worst Book ever

    I got this book thinking that it would be a really good book because I read the back of the book to see what's the book about. And it seems ok. But once I started reading it. I was so lost and after a few couple of chapters that is when I realized that its two different stories. And its the same thing over and over again in every chapter.And the two stories doesn't even connect to each other. I had to drag myself to finish to book because I hate leaving a book unreaded. There is no action, no plot, its not really thrilling to read. please do not read this book, you will be very sorry that you even bought the book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent

    Skin Hunger is a truly wonderful story! Or 2 actually! It took me a little while to get into it b/c honestly I was kinda confused, but once it got going I didn't want to put it down! Hahp's story was heartbreaking at times! I am patiently awaiting the next book...very interested to know what's going to happen next!

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  • Posted January 31, 2009

    An amazing outlook on magic.

    "Skin Hunger" is truly a superb book. Honestly, once you start reading it, you just can't put it down. The book alternates attention between each of the two protagonists-- Haph and Sadima-- who both live in two entirely different times, each chapter. As you read one chapter about Haph, the next one will undoubtedly be about Sadima. Sadima's story, which is where the book starts off, is set in a time where Magic has corrupted the world. Haph's story takes place in a time where Magic has been resurrected. Sadima is capable of magic, though because of her family's prejudice towards it (for killing her mother), she lives with her abilities in secrecy, until she is able to leave home and head for a city where magic supposedly reigns supreme. Haph, on the other hand, is forced into a "training camp", so to speak, by his cruel and intimidating father, to become a wizard. Both stories are told through different circumstances, which makes it all the more interesting, and I just cannot wait for that point where their worlds collide. <BR/><BR/>The overall quality of the book is great. Though it didn't increase my vocabulary by very much, the writing style really suits the book. <BR/><BR/>I enjoyed reading a whole new, darker insight on magic. It's dark, it's thrilling, and above all, it's just RAW. There are no magic wands. There are no spoken spells or incantations. From what I have seen of their magic so far, it seems all the more powerful, all the more natural. Really, at times, I felt more as if I was reading something from a fictional history book than I was just a novel, and the feeling was amazing. <BR/><BR/>I think, what I love most about the book, is how riveting it is. Each chapter starts off slow (but not in a boring way). When you start reading a chapter, you feel settled. Content. But right before you begin to get too comfortable, something amazing happens. In a blink of an eye, you're just pulled right in mid chapter, and you can't put the book down even if you wanted to. Just when you start thinking that you never want to stop reading, and just when you find yourself so phenomenally immersed with the story, BAM! The chapter ends and you're onto the next, which is a whole other story entirely. The amazing thing is, is that it's consecutive sequence. It happens over and over, chapter after chapter, as if routine. <BR/><BR/>The book doesn't ALLOW you to get comfortable. It doesn't allow your nerves to fully calm, or for you to be at ease with even one of the stories. It's kind of like when you're floating on water. You can float for a while, learn to relax, but once you start getting too comfortable, and start focusing more on the calm and ease of everything, and begin to loose sight of exactly how uncertain and unbalanced your situation really is, you sink. With a jolt, you scramble to the surface, still in shock, awe and uncertainty, and it takes a while for you to start floating again.<BR/><BR/>And then the same thing happens again. And again. And again. <BR/><BR/>This book is truly amazing. It's vivid and attention grabbing, and I'll definitely be the first person at Barnes and Nobles as soon as the second book is released.

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    Posted May 1, 2010

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