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SKIN HUNGER by Kathleen Duey

SKIN HUNGER

A Resurrection of Magic, Book One

By Kathleen Duey

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: July 24th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-689-84093-7
Publisher: Atheneum

This double-narrative fantasy begins slowly but deepens into a potent and affecting story of struggle. First, a small farm boy begs a magician (healer) to help his mother through childbirth, but the magician’s corrupt and leaves the baby on the floor and the mother dead. The baby is Sadima. Sadima grows up able to read animals’ minds and eventually seeks the city, where she joins two intense young men: tempestuously abusive Somiss, madly trying to capture ancient languages of magic, and Franklin, serving Somiss with odd devotion. Somiss claims his work will restore banned magic and help the poor. In a second story line, a boy named Hahp is sent to a magician’s academy where he’s starved, abused and taught meditation. Only one boy will live to graduate as a wizard, and they’re forbidden to help each other survive the filth and hunger. Some painful connections between the two narratives emerge, though key details—and the fates of Sadima and Hahp—wait for the sequel. Darkly resonant. (Fantasy. 10-14)