|Thousand steps into night|
Author: Chee, Traci
When a girl, Miuko, who's never longed for adventure is hit with a curse that begins to transform her into a demon, she embarks on a quest to reverse the curse and return to her normal life, but along the way is forced to confront her true power within.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (01/01/22)
School Library Journal (+) (02/01/22)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/03/22)
The Hornbook (00/03/22)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 01/01/2022 Chee returns to her fantasy roots with a Japanese-inspired adventure featuring 17-year-old innkeeper's daughter Miuko. In Awara, magic and reality live side by side, interacting regularly. When Miuko was nine, her unconventional mother deserted the family, leaving her husband to raise their clumsy, plain, and outspoken daughter, but after a demon curses Miuko with a spell that has her slowly morphing into a demon herself, she loses even her loving father's support. Fortunately, she has the company and friendship of Geiki, a shape-shifting magpie she saved from a group of mischievous fox cubs, to help her traverse the country in search of a cure. Chee's world building is resplendent with detail: language, history, food, clothing, and culture are all interwoven into a fast-paced plot that incorporates plenty of archetypal Japanese cultural elements. Especially appealing to many readers will be Miuko's fierce feminism; she frequently and bitterly notes restrictions women face compared to men, battling these societal mores in addition to impending doom. Fantasy readers intrigued by Japanese culture will be enthralled. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2022 Gr 8 Up—Otori Miuko is an unassuming, clumsy girl of the serving class whose life revolves around helping her father run their deteriorating inn until the day she is cursed by a demon when she stays out too long after dark. Suddenly banished from her village, Miuko has to find a way to reverse the curse and reveal the identity of the demon she now knows is hiding in the prince's skin. Awara is an oppressive place for the lower class, especially women, and although Miuko had always chafed against those boundaries, she misses them still when she has to strike out on her own. Through Miuko's travels, readers are introduced to the rich fantasy world of Awara, based on Japanese mythology; the many spirits, demons, and gods Miuko encounters help her fulfill her quest. Miuko's unlikely friends create a charming cast of characters to flesh out the worldbuilding. The true question then becomes whether she wants to relinquish the freedoms she's suddenly embraced, or if one demon girl can change the world? Chee once again creates a lush fantasy world that revolves around a girl discovering her own power. Miuko never takes the easy way out, even when it would solve all of her problems, because she knows she has to do things the right way in order to create real change. Just like Miuko, the story never takes the path that's expected. Footnotes throughout offer more detail on the various spirits Miuko encounters, including helpful pronunciation guides. VERDICT A definite purchase for all libraries.—Stacey Shapiro - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.