ANATOPSIS by Chris Abouzeid


Age Range: 11 - 13
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Poet and literary short-story writer Abouzeid introduces middle-grade readers to a dystopian world in which mortals live to serve immortals and immortals live in deadly competition—all while the earth falls apart. Twelve-year-olds Princess Anatopsis and Prince Barnaby are coerced into learning the magic of curses to equip them for an ordeal when they turn 13. Little do they know that their unpleasant teacher, demigod Mr. Pound, has ulterior motives that will end the world as they know it. Initially, the plot progresses slowly, but things speed up in the second section, rushing headlong to a gratifying ending. Abouzeid’s mixing of Greek myth, Latin term, medieval fable and modern magic tropes produces an inconsistent and sometimes confusing universe. Despite this, the characters—a quirky group of immortals, mortals and talking animals—detailed descriptions of daily life and the compelling plot will keep young people caught up in the story. Readers will enjoy meeting the acerbic talking dog Uno, visiting the mortals’ ghetto and, at long last, discovering the importance of the Os Divinitas. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-525-47583-4
Page count: 280pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2006