Whenever high school student Nolan Santiago closes his eyes, he sees through the eyes of Amara, a girl in another world. Amara, a mute slave with healing powers, has been bound to princess-in-exile Cilla since childhood, forced to absorb the curse that could kill Cilla if she spills just one drop of blood. Nolan suffers every bit of Amara’s pain until he accidentally overdoses on his medication and discovers he can escape Amara’s body. But when Nolan leaves, so do Amara’s healing abilities. Debut novelist Duyvis smoothly integrates elements of diversity and disability into her cast without letting them stand in for deeper characterizations. Nolan, whose father is Mexican, is an amputee and suffers seizurelike blackouts when he’s pulled into Amara’s world. Equal respect and weight are given to both of Amara’s romantic relationships—she loves her (male) fellow servant, Maart, and has feelings for Cilla, despite the power imbalance between them. Numerous plot twists drive the story along, and it’s grounded in worldbuilding that creates a believable, authentic setting. Duyvis makes ingenious use of a fascinating premise. Ages 14–up. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/21/2014 Release date: 06/17/2014 Genre: Children's
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