THE ORACLE BETRAYED by Catherine Fisher
Kirkus Star

THE ORACLE BETRAYED

Age Range: 10 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

The US debut of a respected British fantasist offers a richly imagined adventure with overtones of ancient Greece and Egypt. When Mirany, the most awkward of the scorpion god’s Nine priestesses, stumbles on a conspiracy to elevate a false Archon (the god’s human incarnation), she finds human treachery more perilous than divine wrath. Prompted (possibly) by the god’s voice, and aided by a young scribe of flexible morals and a drunken, vengeful musician, Mirany scrambles to find the legitimate Archon before drought devastates the land—and the plotters have her buried alive. Deceptively simple language shapes this numinous fantasy to work on many levels, from a thrilling adventure of intrigue and magic to a subtle probing of questions of faith, choice, and destiny. Fisher draws her players with skillful economy—her heroes are likable but realistically flawed, her villains despicable and menacing without being stupid—and their actions flow naturally from their characters and circumstances. Abrupt changes in voice and setting serve to intensify the liminal atmosphere and rising tension to a climactic triumphant release, with a brief, genuinely chilling dénouement. A tale that will linger long in readers’ memories; fortunately, the sequel is already on its way. (Fantasy. 10+)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-057157-8
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Greenwillow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2004




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