The Plentiful Darkness

Heather Kassner. Holt, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-250-76400-3
Pale-skinned orphan Rooney de Barra, 12, survives on the fictional streets of Warybone by harvesting moonlight with her enchanted mirror. But when her rival, roughhouse boy Trick Aidan, who is also white, steals her mirror, Rooney is determined to retrieve it—even when that means following Trick into a strange patch of darkness cast by a mysterious magician. In the darkness, Rooney and Trick discover a shadowy, claustrophobic world filled with broken objects and lost children led by the sullen, capricious, and pale Sorka, also 12. To escape the darkness before it consumes them, Rooney and Trick must join forces with their fellow captives, including brown-skinned recent arrival Devin Hayes, and find a way to bring light into the darkest shadows. As newfound bonds of necessity grow between characters and Rooney is forced to challenge her expectations and assumptions, Kassner (The Forest of Stars) allows the heroes a satisfying measure of growth. Leaning heavily upon atmosphere and lush descriptions, with setting almost a character itself, this eerie tale might have been further enriched by additional exploration and worldbuilding; still, it succeeds in delivering a robust message of resilience and hope. Ages 8–12. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 07/28/2021
Release date: 08/03/2021
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-250-83275-7
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