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Division of the Marked
For all of written history, on the day of Da Un Marcu, fifty boys and girls across the three kingdoms are marked. They become a class apart from society. Taken to join their brothers and sisters, the Chisanta, they enter a culture of knowledge-keepers, martial artists, and possessors of strange and wonderful abilities. When Yarrow discovers himself marked, he is lost and lonely; until he meets Bray, a spirited and curious girl with whom he feels uncommonly connected. As the two of them become familiar with their new lives, unaccountable events unsettle the peace. A mysterious murder leaves the Chisanta in confusion. Odder still, one of the fifty children never arrives. In the years that follow, more and more children of the Chisanta go missing. Ten years later, the devastating truth comes to light. The death of a young marked girl is uncovered. Yarrow and Bray—separated for a decade and grown apart—are thrust back together to investigate the crime. Can they overcome their differences to save the fate of their kind and the peace of the nation?
McCarron manages to successfully bridge modern ideals and an ancient world in this coming-of-age tale. On the day of Da Un Marcu, 50 teenagers receive marks on their necks and are forced to leave their homes and family to become part of the Chisanta, people with supernatural abilities. At first, Yarrow Lamhart and Bray Marron struggle to understand what it means to shoulder the responsibilities of becoming Chisanta. Years later, when the number of marked children begins to dwindle, it is up to Yarrow and Bray to unravel the conspiracy behind the disappearances. Unfortunately, the passing of years has driven a wedge between the two, and what was once an amicable friendship has turned into hostility, aided by the split of the Chisanta into two rival groups. Though the pacing and character development can get awkward at times, especially with the large time jump, McCarron does a fine job of keeping up with the events surrounding the disappearances and Yarrow and Bray’s inner challenges as they grapple with the past and what needs to be done for the future. There’s plenty here for fans of character-focused fantasy quests. (BookLife)