This Golden Flame

Emily Victoria. Inkyard, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-335-08027-1
Orphaned Karis has spent seven years as a servant to the Scriptorium, a caste of scribes who rule the island nation of Eratia. Though she is supposed to be ignorant of Scriptwork, the system of rune magic that animates the land, she has been secretly teaching herself—a dangerous task, particularly since her older brother was taken away for getting on the wrong side of the Scriptorium. For centuries, the scribes’ primary aim has been to discover the lost secret of automaton magic in order to control Eratia’s ancient robotic army. When Karis discovers an automaton hidden in a cave, she accidentally wakes it. Alix, the automaton, displays both emotion and intelligence, shattering Karis’s preconceptions, and the two delve into the mystery of his origins, a journey that leads them to discover rot at the heart of the Scriptorium itself. Victoria weaves a range of sexualities into her debut, including an asexual, aromantic protagonist and a gay couple. Left vague, some elements of worldbuilding lend confusion; nevertheless, this fast-paced standalone novel features intriguing concepts and a thoughtful exploration of what qualifies one to be “alive” and “human.” Ages 12–up. Agent: Rebecca Strauss, DeFiore and Company Literary Management. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 01/27/2021
Release date: 02/02/2021
Genre: Children's
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