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GATEWAY by Sharon Shinn


by Sharon Shinn

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-670-01178-0
Publisher: Viking

Blending romance with a touch of fantasy, Shinn’s new series rests on a promising premise: The St. Louis Gateway Arch is a portal to other universes, each an “iteration” of the basic template created by gods of whom readers learn little else. Daiyu, about 17, adopted as an infant from China by white parents, is magically pulled into Shenglang, a version of St. Louis. Here, America was settled by Han Chinese, and whites are an ethnic minority. Servants of the gods have brought Daiyu here to dispatch Chenglei, the powerful prime minister, back to his own iteration. Daiyu’s uncertainty about their objectives is complicated by her attraction to Kalen, an impoverished, white stone-picker. Groomed to travel in high society and catch the eye of Chenglei, Daiyu makes seeing Kalen a condition of her cooperation with the scheme. The vivid contrast of Shenglang’s elite class—combining great wealth with rigid social customs—to Kalen’s hardscrabble world is especially effective. That, along with the intelligent and convincing characterization, lends weight to an otherwise light romance. (Fantasy. 12 & up)