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Author: Neff, Henry H.
Two unlikely allies confront a conspiracy that is even bigger and more sinister than they imagine in this high-stakes fantasy.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 5.70
Points: 24.0 Quiz: 185202
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 32.0 Quiz: 69959
Kirkus Reviews (07/15/16)
School Library Journal (08/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/10/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2016 Gr 6–8—The author of the "Tapestry" series brings readers a new set of characters and story lines—3,000 years after The Red Winter concludes. This companion series opener follows the lives of Hazel, one of a set of royal triplets in the ruling family of the country of Impyrium, and Hob, an ordinary kid from a backwater town in the kingdom. Neff adroitly mixes magic, adolescence, and mystery, all while meticulously building a believable world whose characters slowly realize that history has many holes worth examining. Readers will find many recognizable elements in the land of Impyrium. Hazel, born with albinism, experiences the wariness and whispers of her peers, despite her mystical talent. The vyes, a race of wolflike scholars, are tolerated for their wisdom and command of magic, but not without the control of the ruling human government and the suspicion that accompanies it. And Hob, a commoner, knows nothing more of life than the toil of poverty and the entrapment of systemic oppression. Above all, the world of Impyrium is premised on a history that may not be completely true, a realization that will rock Hazel's and Hob's worlds. Their adventures deeper and deeper into what really happened in the centuries following Neff's last series will spur readers on to important questions of their own: Why does the world work the way it does? Who are the people in power, and why? VERDICT Neff has created a fantasy world that will not only satisfy dedicated fans of the genre but also attract budding social activists searching for a fictional reflection of their real concerns.—Chelsea Woods, New Brunswick Free Public Library, NJ - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 10/01/2016 Hazel’s grandmother—the empress called the Spider—has set her an impossible task, and it means getting tutoring help from a rural half-breed named Hob. Hob, as it turns out, has actually been sent to the palace by an antiempire group to discover the extent of Hazel’s magical abilities. Each saves the other’s life more than once, but it will take both of them to save the kingdom from ancient evil. This initial entry in a new series is a postapocalyptic tale that occurs centuries into a future where technology is banned in favor of magic, and the ruling dynasty is teetering on the edge of collapse. It gets off to a slow start but picks up some steam as it nears a mild cliff-hanger ending. Each chapter opens with a quote from sources as varied as Sherlock Holmes and nineteenth-century financier John Pierpont Morgan to servant etiquette books and (imaginary) postcataclysmic poets. Maps, a character list, and glossary help the reader find footing in this new fantasy world. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.