The Resurrection of Magic
Part One: Skin Hunger
Part Two: Sacred Scars
Several years ago at Dragon*Con, I met a young adult author named Kathleen Duey in the Hyatt Regency at the top of an escalator. I believe, and I might be wrong about this, I nearly knocked her down. Regardless, she was charming and polite and I promised to read her new novel “Skin Hunger.”
I never read young adult fiction as a child, going straight from non-fiction and Marvel comics to Leon Uris, Frank Herbert, and Ann McCaffery at age 11 or 12. I discovered young adult literature before starting college when I encountered a A Wrinkle in Time and the works of C.S. Lewis. I have made it through the Harry Potter books and the folks tales of Laurence Yep. I tried to read Twilight, I swear I tried. It didn’t go well.
Recently I ordered both of Kathleen Duey’s resurrection of magic books on Audible.com and prepared myself for an urban fantasy similar to Vampire Diaries. The setting could not have been more different, instead of a modern world, the tale was starts out in ren-fest/Tolkien world of magic and market places. I was honestly disappointed with how mundane and cookie-cutter this world seemed to be. I continued to listen. Within a few chapters I realized that this world was not like any I had ever encountered in literature, and that story I was reading was not going directly from point “A” to point “Z” and that the Resurrection of Magic would have very, very dark and bloody consequences.
The single defining feature of the books is actually their duality. The initial tales feature the live of the young girl Sadima as she discovers her magic ability to hear animals, finds that her skills might contribute to the restoration of magic overall, falls in love with a young Magician, Franklin, and deals with the mysterious and questionable Somiss, another magician. The other story covers Hahp as he attends a school of magic, suffers frightening horrors, and is the student of a magician, Franklin, and deals with the mysterious and questionable Somiss, another magician.
There is no clear sense of time early in either story, and it is difficult to tell immediately how Franklin and Somiss can be in both stories though the tales appear to be centuries apart. This mystery works it way through both tales and they descend into pain, suffering, and loss. These two stories are tired very closely.
Skin Hunger, and its sequel Sacred Scars are both highly recommended for their vivid storytelling and incredible characters and struggles. The one warning I give to he reader…have Sacred Scars on hand to immediately start digging in when Skin Hunger dies.