2007 National Book Award finalist
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[A] darkly atmospheric fantasy....The pacing in this page-turner accelerates as the stories progress and links between them emerge, moving toward a cliffhanger ending that will leave readers anxious for future installments." Booklist
"This double-narrative fantasy begins slowly but deepens into a potent and affecting story of struggle....Darkly resonant." Kirkus Reviews
"[A] compelling new fantasy....Duey sweeps readers up in the page-turning excitement, making this one of the more promising fantasy series beginnings of recent memory." The Horn Book
"Both [Sadima and Hahp's] 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." KLIATT
About the Author
Kathleen Duey has written numerous books for younger readers, including the chapter book series the Unicorn's Secret and the Hoofbeats series. She lives in Fallbrook, California.