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BLOODLINE by Katy Moran

BLOODLINE

By Katy Moran

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4083-5
Publisher: Candlewick

A bleak tale from a harsh time, told with elegance and graceful mystical overtones. Essa’s father, a bard wandering seventh-century England, abruptly fosters his son to a hall of strangers. Caught between two bitterly feuding tribes, Essa is also internally torn, between his yearning for family and his resentment at being abandoned, between his Christian British heritage and the pagan ways of his Anglish caretakers and, above all, between his desperate desire to belong and his bone-deep need for autonomy and independence. When simmering hostilities suddenly flare up into savage warfare, it falls to Essa, with his supernatural affinity with animals and his secret ancestry, to declare his allegiance and take a stand. Lyrical, supple prose employs well-chosen details to evoke the politics, spirit, even the flavor of ancient Britain, despite some heavy-handed symbolic flourishes and awkward translations. Essa is a complex, sympathetic protagonist: prickly and quick of temper, but also clever, determined and of unflinching integrity. If his struggle is authentically gory and ultimately tragic, it is not without glimpses of love and hope. This impressive debut kicks off a trilogy. (Historical fantasy. YA)