ESCAPE THE MASK by David Ward

ESCAPE THE MASK

The Grassland Trilogy, Book 1
Age Range: 10 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

In Book One of the Grasslands Trilogy, Coriko, a slave since he was young, understands little about the world outside. When newcomers share the torturous First Cleansing the Spears (jailers) use for punishment, Coriko helps them survive and gains a sturdy friendship. Using words that clearly have distinct meanings, Ward builds a world inhabited by slave Diggers who must bring in the quota of shards for the Spears each day. A note of uneasiness arises as the Spears make unusual changes in a place known for its unending routine and pattern. Unfolding events Outside threaten slaves as well as the ruling Spears, and using courage and quick thinking the children cope as their world unravels. The quick pace immerses readers in an exotic locale where slaves are divided between Onesies, Twosies, etc., where the threat of Separation looms with aging. The children’s complete lack of understanding of their own world and how it connects to the outside allows readers to experience the discovery in parallel with the protagonists. A boundary-crossing import from Canada for fantasy fans. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8109-9477-5
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2008