Skin Hunger (A Resurrection of Magic Series #1)

Skin Hunger (A Resurrection of Magic Series #1)

by Kathleen Duey

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780689840944
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 09/30/2008
Series: A Resurrection of Magic Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 654,142
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About 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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Skin Hunger (A Resurrection of Magic Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
rivkat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A young girl who can talk to the animals (yes, I know, but bear with me) and a boy from a wealthy but abusive home encounter magicians¿as it turns out, the same magicians, but in very different contexts, and as the story goes in it becomes more obvious that things are much more complicated than either of them can see. I¿m probably not doing a good job of explaining this, in part to avoid spoilers, but I found the worldbuilding interesting¿it involves the disappearance and return of magic from the world, and maybe-immortal magicians. The families were believably screwed up, love and hatred mixed together; I¿m looking forward to the next volume of this YA story, though it looks like there¿s only one more, published in the last few years, and I¿m not sure the story is over.
Dawno13 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Two alternating stories form the narration of this book. One thread belongs to Sadima, a farm girl with a gift for relating to animals. Sadima, whose birth involves a so-called "magician," narrowly survives her birth, but her mother does not. She grows up with a doting older brother and a distant father, who, due to the death of Sadima's mother, and the betrayal of a thieving "magician" who allowed her to die, have a heavy hatred for all things magical. When a young man named Franklin comes to visit Sadima's farm, her life takes a interesting turn toward a mysterious world much larger than the pastoral community in which she has lived.The second thread, which takes place many years later, is narrated by Hahp, the second born son of a wealthy merchant. Against his will, Hahp's father takes him to a school of magic. Thrust into a world where he feels hunger, discomfort, and struggle for the first time, Hahp soon finds he has to fight to survive--only one of the ten students will graduate, those who fail may die in the attempt! It's impossible to say much more without giving away too much of the story. The characters are sympathetic, with the exception of Somiss, the villain, who is at times so dangerously cold and distant, one might say he is evil. The plot lines reveal the story in nicely paced pieces of the past and the future which connect enough to keep you guessing at the gaps in between, and ever-hopeful that past and future/present will converge.My only complaint is that the cliffhanger ending leaves me desperate to find out what happens next!
roguelibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Plot: Sadima is born in a world where magicians are just legends or frauds. Her father and brother hate magicians after one robbed them and left Sadima¿s mother to die in childbirth. But Sadima may have true power; she can understand and speak with animals. When she encounters Franklin and Somiss who are trying to revive magic, she thinks that she has finally found people who can accept her for who she is. Centuries later, magic has been restored and Hahp has been sent to a mysterious school with 9 other boys where he is to be trained as a wizard. But this is nothing like the boarding schools he is used to. The wizards make it clear that only one of them will survive and any kind of cooperation will be punished.The dual structure of the novel is a bit strange at first. The chapters alternate between the two narrators (even the style is different, Hahp¿s chapters being in the first person and Sadima¿s in the third, limited) and it almost feels like reading two different novels simultaneously. But slowly as the plot progresses, there start to be links between the two stories and this builds the tension quite effectively. I picked this book up on a whim (it was the title, I admit) but once I started it, I couldn¿t put it down. My one complaint is that the first volume ends quite abruptly. It cannot stand on its own.
pither on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very good, similar in some ways to Suzanne Collins in fighting for survival against harsh, sometimes unknown circumstances. The interweaving of the two stories is very well-done--I would have thought it would be confusing, or I'd get impatient with one while wanting to read the other, but both were paced nicely. A struggle to put down, and I can't wait until I get my hands on the next one!
CatheOlson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This first book in A Resurrection of Magic series introduces us to Sadima, a girl brought up to hate magicians because of a family tragedy. So of course she is destined to fall in love with one. Her story alternates between another that takes place sometime in the future about a boy forced by his family into a sequestered and inhumane wizard academy. I loved the writing, the story, and the mystery of this book. I'm going right into the sequel, Sacred Scars. I'd recommend this book for teens at ninth grade and up (and adults as well).
ohioyalibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was extremely compelling at the end, but then had no conclusion of the story, as it is to be continued in the sequel, so I was frustrated at the end of the book. The rest of the book I thought moved very slowly, with not much really happening. There are some mature themes in the book, so I would recommend it for mature teens. I am looking forward to the sequel and my curiosity is definitely aroused. The book has to do with a character who is obsessed with returning magic to the world, seemingly for good reasons, yet the means he goes to in order to do this are questionable. Point of view and time-frame vary from chapter to chapter with two linked stories that we are not exactly sure how they fit together. Interesting, yes...but some patience will needed to endure the slow story and the need to wait for the sequel to get resolution.
kayceel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Interesting, confusing and bleak. Read for Mock Printz.
lalalibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really wish the second book in this series was already out. I hate having to wait!!

The book follows two different characters, Sadima and Hahp, who live in different time periods but whose stories are intertwined. Sadima's world is one almost devoid of magic; the kings banished and killed the magicians long ago. In Hahp's world, magic has been restored and is used for everything by those who have the means. Hahp is chosen to go to a special Academy along with 9 other boys. One of them will graduate to become a wizard, but first they have to survive.

I can't wait to see what happens next, especially given the ending!!
Jenson_AKA_DL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I first read the description for Skin Hunger, it sounded intriguing. Now, having finished the book, I can definitely say intriguing is only the tip of the iceberg. This was a very unusual fantasy set in a world of wizards much crueler and warped than anything Harry Potter could have dreamed of. In actuality this is really two separate stories in one, paradoxically intertwined by common characters in a way not completely revealed, at least not in this first volume.In the first part we are introduced to Sadima, saved and raised by her brother who loves her but cannot believe in her gifts. The second story is of a businessman's youngest son, Hahp, who is sent to a strange and horrifying academy to learn wizardry, or die trying. I would hate to give anything more than this away as I believe the story is best read with blinders on going in.I will say that it is a very dark, well written, young adult fantasy. It is descriptive but not overwhelmingly complex. The author feeds you clues, bits and pieces as the story goes along, that reveal how tightly woven the two stories are. Although this seems like it would be frustrating, the result is actually quite engrossing. There is a little bit of romance in here, although I would not, by any stretch of the imagination, say this is a girly tale, and it actually feels a bit fatalistic. You're left highly questioning the possibility of a happy ending which is unusual, and a little disconcerting, but adds to the overall tone of the book. After reading one of this author's earlier works and not being totally impressed, I have to say that I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the storytelling here. Although this is another series starter which leaves off on a cliffhanger ending, I didn't find it as objectionable as I have with other series in the past.I'd highly recommend this story to teens and adults, both guys and girls, who enjoy dark fantasy stories with a cerebral edge and don't overly mind being left to wonder what will happen next.
timothyl33 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As bleak a book that I have ever read, Skin Hunger is a story that will pull you to turn page after page, hoping that there is a light at the end of this tunnel. Unfortunately, this is only the first book of a trilogy so the light might not be for several more pages.Not to say this is a terrible book, far from it, but it's been said that the night is darkest right before the dawn, and with Skin Hunger being the first book, I'm hoping for a very bright dawn.My only actual nitpicks are over the structure of the book itself, with the way the book is actually two interlaced stories, with each chapter alternating one after the other. Both stories are captivating, but the constant switch between the two, reminds me of someone constantly switching channels to try to watch two shows at the same time.As captivating as the story is, it's not one I would recommend for the faint of heart.
JRlibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This story is told in alternating chapters, focusing on two different characters. The first is Sadima, whose mother died when the magician who was paid to help with her birthing instead robbed them of everything in the room and left Sadima for dead. Both her brother and father have a fiere hatred for fake magicians after that. When Sadima discovers that she can communicate with animals, she doesn't tell her family. Later, when a stranger named Franklin comes to see her, she feels instant companionship through the act of sharing her story honestly with him. Later, when her father dies, she decides to find Franklin. He is living with a half crazed man named Somiss, who is determined to bring magic back to the world. He is secretly pursuing this knowledge and spends most of the days tracking down rhythms and words from the gypsies. Sadima works her way into their gratitude by cleaning and cooking and later copying for them. She loves Franklin, but cannot persuade him to leave Somiss, who actually owns him.The second story is set centuries later when magic has been restored, but is available only to the wealthy. A young boy, Hahp, quite unwillingly, is sent to the wizard academy, where he and nine other boys will compete to be the one boy who manages to survive the tasks Somiss and Franklin set for them. The wizard school has no resemblance to any magic school you've ever heard described. The boys who fail to learn what they're expected to learn - die. The cave they live in is dark, and mysterious, and filled with twisting turning passageways. Their existence is a friendless one, and they are punished severely for helping each other. Hahp manages to survive through a bit of help he gets from Gerrard, a peasant boy who is his roomate, and Levan, an old friend from school. When book one ends, Sadima, Franklin and Somiss have had to flee their residence when locals set the building on fire, and Gerrard and Hahp have agreed to secretly help each other and plan to destroy the academy and find a way to escape with their lives. I hadn't paid attention to the fact that the book was a series, so the ending was extremely unsatisfying. I also think that the story being told in alternating chapters, indicated by a picture of a girl running or a picture of a boy leaning against a cave wall, would be quite confusing for some readers. It would be beneficial to let a weaker reader know that this is the way the book is organized. It also drags in a few places - specifically the times when Sadima is copying text and begging Franklin to leave Somiss. I found myself wishing she would just break free of him and find a happier life. Given the tiny, tiny bit of affection Franklin bestows upon Sadima, I don't understand why she feels such a kinship with him. I sure wouldn't be staying with him!
cabri on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A wonderful cross-time tale of a country without magic, the people who brought it back, and Hell's horrible counterpart to Hogwarts. It may take a little while to figure out what is going on, but as the story unfolds, you're torn between wanting to stay with one story and aching to move on to the next.
callmecayce on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A clever book that mixes two worlds (one where magic is accepted and another where it's not) into one. The mix doesn't truly appear until later in the book, actually near the end. Duey's writing is strong, her characters are interesting and sympathetic and I will eventually read the next book in this series, because the first was more than interesting enough to make me want to know what happens next.
knielsen83 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first in the series, the only complaint that I have is that I want more! This story goes back and forth between two characters, one from the past and one from the present. The boy in the present is one out of ten boys to be chosen to become a wizard, but it's not all fun and Harry Potter-like. These boys are often starved until they can complete tasks and they cannot bathe or go outside. They are lucky if they can find their way back to their room. The character from the past is a young woman who has found herself meeting one of the wizards to be and finds herself following him to his city after her father dies. What she doesn't realize is the man she loves is owned by another, more fierce character who is obsessed with finding the origins of magic. Overall, the book was just a fascinating read, pulling you in and making you long for more.
francescadefreitas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was immediately gripping - I usually dislike parallel narratives like this, and as usual, I was sorry when each segment came to and and and the stories swapped, but when the ties between the stories became clearer, I hurtled through with a feeling of horror and dread. The endings came far too soon, and I have a million questions, and I really need to find out what happens next.
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Lawliet More than 1 year ago
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!