Sunday, October 14, 2007

Skin Hunger

Duey, Kathleen. 2007. Skin Hunger.

It is a good thing this book is part of a series, else it could possibly have one of the most unsatisfying endings ever. Okay, so that is probably not going to make you want to rush out and read it. I'm sorry. This is a fantasy novel that is a very compelling read, it just happens to end mid-action at a very suspenseful moment. So you're going to WANT to read the sequel immediately. Skin Hunger is told by two narrators--one boy, one girl. The catch? What makes Skin Hunger unique? These characters are separated by hundreds of years. Yet somehow their stories intertwine. Sadima is one of our narrators. Her mother died shortly after childbirth; her father, a bitter man, blames his wife's death on the magician that was attending her. She was robbing them while she was supposed to be delivering the babe. I understand his bitterness, but his daughter knows a completely different man as 'father' than her older brother who can remember the happy days. Sadima's childhood is unique in some ways, she learns early on that she has a gift for *listening* to animals. She understands them. She has a silent language of sorts with them. She feels alone until one day she meets Franklin, the servant of a wizard Somiss. Hahp, our other narrator, is a young boy with equally hateful parents. The younger son, he is dismissed from the family and sent to an exclusive wizard school. But that is FAR from a good thing. Entering with nine other young men, they're told that only one will likely graduate--but that probably none will make it. And "making it" isn't about academic success. It's life and death here. Death is likely if they can't make progress. There is no learning curve. There is no mercy. It's a very dehumanizing school. They're told that they cannot help one another. They must show no compassion to one another. No sympathy. It's a fight for survival. How are these stories related? Magic? Wizardry? Quests? Read and see for yourself!

Kathleen Duey's official site

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