Luna boldly pens the trials and tribulations of adolescents, the betrayal of secrets suddenly unearthed, and the courage to fight for a cause, while also dedicating precious scene space to the mundane. The novel is chatty rather than fast-paced, a choice that emphasizes characters and their growth, potentially setting up a series, while the point-of-view bounces from one character to the next, leaving no cast member behind in this wildly large ensemble of family, friends, and foes. Still, some readers may wish that the scenes were more concise, especially once the quest—involving a hunt for a powerful wizard and then three crystals—kicks off.
Still, there are plenty of twists and some legitimate shock as the characters dig deeper into the magical world Luna has created—and it is a world, rich and detailed, crafted by a writer who understands what readers expect from the genre, and how satisfying it is to see those expectations upended. Relationships are tested as exposed secrets threaten to unravel the twins’ family, but loyalty and love reign supreme. Fans of magic, fantasy, and epic quests will find satisfaction in this character-driven adventure.
Takeaway: Heroes are molded and adventure is afoot in this fantasy YA debut filled with magic.
Great for fans of: Adam Silvera’s Infinity Son, Cinda Williams Chima.
Design and typography: A-
Marketing copy: A