Jimmy Cajoleas. Quill Tree, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-300877-9
A young ritualist with an outsize sense of duty attempts to hold her own in Cajoleas’s (Minor Prophets) rambling frontier fantasy. For the residents of an unnamed desert outpost within Darkling Valley, all that keeps them safe from lurking supernatural force The Great Doom are Grandpa Widow and orphaned protégée Gustavina Mithridates Pearl—Gussy—two protectors tasked with performing granular daily Rites meant to ward off infection. When Grandpa Widow is summoned by the powerful Council of Protectors, Gussy is charged with shielding the town on her own, a task that becomes exponentially more precarious after she in a sympathetic moment that directly violates a Rite—opens the town gates after dark, welcoming a lone girl in during a terrible desert storm. Gussy’s belief structure and colloquial narration dominate the novel’s languid first act. Though secondary characters lack the detail of Gussy’s daily rituals, Cajoleas gracefully builds to a rousing climax, portrayed alongside a refreshingly positive message of grit, gumption, and community. All characters are cued as white. Ages 8–12. Agent: Jessica Regel, Foundry Media. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/23/2021
Release date: 11/02/2021
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-06-300879-3
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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