THE AMETHYST ROAD by Louise Spiegler


Age Range: 11 - 14
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Appealing though overly earnest story about family love, romantic love and systematic racial oppression. Sixteen-year-old Serena lives with her slightly older sister and her sister’s toddler. Serena and her sister are ma’hane: outcast from their own tribe because the child was born out of wedlock. A social worker finds an intentional cigarette burn on the toddler’s foot and seizes her. Ruling-class, light-skinned Gorgios run the society; brown-skinned Yulang tribes (such as the Kereskedo, Serena’s tribe, and the Parias, lowest of all) have little hope for justice. Each tribe has one profession (trading, music, etc). Despite cars and some random modern details (fax, tuna sandwich), the setting feels pre-Industrial and craft-focused. Sparring and helping each other, Serena and a young man from another tribe travel, collect gems and force their way into the Kereskedo tribe on the quest to reclaim the toddler and achieve their own life dreams. Spiegler writes characters, arts and slow-blooming romance with warmth and vigor. Unsubtle but heartfelt. (Fantasy. 11-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 2005
ISBN: 0-618-48572-4
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2005