The Danger of Reading

9780399176777The Reader, Traci Chee (first in series Sea of Ink and Gold), Putnam, coming in September 2016

This is a better-than-average fantasy, set in a world where nobody can read and only one book exists. When the book falls into teenage Sefia’s hands, it comes with death and mystery and the kidnap of her Aunt Nin, with whom she has been fleeing the murderers of her father.  Sofia teaches herself to read and with the help of a deadly teenage fighter who she rescues, she sets out to find who has taken Nin and what they want. The mysterious book she carries is full of secrets. Characters from the book appear in real life, and the book itself seems able to change destinies – but is it the book’s powers or Sefia’s?  Whatever the source of the power, Sefia is not the only person that wants it – which makes her not only a hunter, but also prey. My one quibble would be that the book really does set up the series – while some things are resolved by the end, there is much more to discover. However, I guess the trick works as I would like to read the next in the series!

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