A lush land reminiscent of South Asia is the setting for a thrilling trilogy opener by Heilig (The Girl from Everywhere). Sixteen-year-old Jetta, part of a family troupe of shadow performers, can bind departed souls to intricate shadow puppets with her blood, but such magic has been forbidden by the Aquitans ever since they conquered Chakrana. Her family seeks an audience with the king of Aquitan, hoping to gain access to its healing spring waters for Jetta’s “ups and downs,” and to find a place to weave their magic. Following a rebellion, daunting trials—such as the unforgiving jungle and a haunted underground passage—stand between Jetta and Aquitan. Jetta has her parents and her magic on her side, but there are those that would do anything to harness her power, and the specter of war looms. Telegrams, letters, and play scenes sprinkled throughout create a strong sense of place, and Jetta’s struggle to accept herself is relatable. Heilig uses intricate prose to animate nuanced characters and action-packed scenes in this immersive, epic fantasy. Ages 13–up. Agent: Molly Ker Hawn, the Bent Agency. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/23/2018 Release date: 09/01/2018 Genre: Children's
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