Giacomo is a 12-year-old orphan on the run from the orphanage he would rather die than go back to.
The white lad lives underground in a sewer and survives on what scraps of food he can steal. In his society, art of any kind is powerful and also illegal. All artists are in possession of Geniuses: birdlike creatures that manifest an artist’s creative spirit. Any artist caught with a Genius faces severe punishment. When his own Genius suddenly appears one night, Giacomo now has an extra problem to deal with. To his surprise, he is discovered by a group of young artists who tell him of a safe space for their kind where they can learn to channel their creative energies using sacred geometry. But then, while training, Giacomo learns of a murderous artist who plans to go after the three Sacred Tools—objects that have the power to demolish the world. Giacomo must now, putting his life in danger again, join the mission to stop the artist. DiMartino creates a Renaissance Italy–inspired world and ties history and magic together within it. The artwork that accompanies the story—black-and-white drawings that emulate Giacomo’s—adds an extra dimension to its themes of artistry and creativity.
Inspired worldbuilding and nonstop action should hook readers, and they may find themselves spurred to try their own hands at creating. (Fantasy. 10-14)