Bound To Stay Bound

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 Beasts made of night
 Author: Onyebuchi, Tochi

 Publisher:  Razorbill (2018)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 320 p.,  22 cm

 BTSB No: 690407 ISBN: 9780448493909
 Ages: 12-16 Grades: 7-11

 Guilt -- Fiction
 Monsters -- Fiction
 Fantasy fiction

Price: $8.19

After he eats the sin of a royal, Taj, a talented aki, or sin-eater who consumes the guilt of others whose transgressions are exorcised from them by powerful but corrupt Mages, is drawn into a plot to destroy the city, and he must fight to save the princess he loves and his own life.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: UG
   Reading Level: 5.00
   Points: 12.0   Quiz: 193488
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 9-12
   Reading Level: 5.60
   Points: 19.0   Quiz: 72580

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 07/01/2017 Gr 7 Up—In the walled city of Kos, the royal family makes the laws, but the Mages are the enforcers. Mages often call upon the "aki" to purify the royals by eating their sins. Taj is the best aki in Kos, and when he is called to eat the king's sin, he becomes involved in a covert operation to take over the city. Told from the perspective of Taj, this debut novel is set in a mythical world where sins take the form of shadow beasts and become tattoos on the skin of the sin-eaters. Onyebuchi's world-building is strong, and the details leap off the page; readers will witness the poverty, smell the delicious food, and feel the physical pain of being a sin-eater. However, the author spells out the motives of the antagonists and the reasons for characters' behaviors, rather than letting teens infer them from the text. The romance between Taj and the princess is charming but too quick. Although this work is full of desperate people in dire situations, the narrative lacks intensity and reads more like a prequel than a series opener. Still, this title has strong female characters and a beautiful and well-crafted setting and absolutely fills the void of diversity in YA fantasy fiction. VERDICT A good choice for most fantasy collections.—Dawn Abron, Zion-Benton Public Library, IL - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 09/15/2017 Taj is an aki, a sin-eater. After Mages pull the sins out of people, he and his fellow aki fight those sins and, if they win, consume them, leaving only the tell-tale tattoos on their skin, the signs that mark them as outcasts. But when the supposedly pure King has Taj eat one of his sins, Taj is caught in a battle between the all-powerful members of the royal family over the true role of the aki and their powers. Onyebuchi crafts a compelling tale for his first novel, seamlessly blending fantasy, religion, political intrigue, and a touch of steampunk into a twisting tale of magic. Taj, who narrates the tale in present tense, is a great stand-in for teen readers, equal parts afraid, determined, cocky, smart, and clueless. As he moves out of the slums he knows and into a world of wealth and power, readers will discover whom he can trust and what the other characters truly want right along with him. Hand this intriguing fantasy to fans of Nnedi Okorafor’s Akata Witch (2011). - Copyright 2017 Booklist.

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