cover image Ever


Gail Carson Levine, . . HarperCollins, $16.99 (244pp) ISBN 978-0-06-122962-6

Levine’s (Ella Enchanted ) original mythological tale works as romance, adventure and exploration of faith. Kezi is the only daughter of a wealthy, devout family in a vaguely ancient, vaguely Middle Eastern city, where the established religion revolves around one god, Admat. When Kezi’s mother falls deathly ill, her father vows to sacrifice the first person who congratulates him on his wife’s recovery, if only Admat will let her live. Through adroit plotting, this person turns out to be Kezi, who has 30 days before she must be delivered to the sacrificial altar. Meanwhile, Olus, the god of wind from a family of Greek-like deities, has been watching the horror unfold; out of loneliness (the brother closest to him in age is 412 years older), he has disguised himself to mix with mortals and fallen in love with Kezi. Braided throughout the well-paced action are doubts raised by Kezi’s new-found knowledge of Olus and his clan: “How can Admat be the one, the all, if Olus is a god too?” Is her sacrifice without reason? Levine conducts a riveting journey, offering passion and profound pondering along the way. Ages 10-up. (May)