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Sadima lives in a world where magic has been banned, leaving poor villagers prey to fakes and charlatans. A "magician" stole her family's few valuables and left Sadima's mother to die on the day Sadima was born. But vestiges of magic are hidden in old rhymes and hearth tales and in people like Sadima, who conceals her silent communication with animals for fear of rejection and ridicule.
When rumours of her gift reach Somiss, a young nobleman obsessed with restoring magic, he sends Franklin, his lifelong servant, to find her. Sadima's joy at sharing her secret becomes love for the man she shares it with. But Franklin's irrevocable bond to the brilliant and dangerous Somiss traps her, too, and she faces a heartbreaking decision.
Centuries later, magic has been restored, but it is available only to the wealthy and is strictly controlled by wizards within a sequestered academy of magic. Hahp, the expendable second son of a rich merchant, is forced into the academy and finds himself paired with Gerrard, a peasant boy inexplicably admitted with nine sons of privilege and wealth. Only one of the ten students will graduate -- and the first academic requirement is survival.
Sadima's and Hahp's worlds are separated by generations, but their lives are connected in surprising and powerful ways in this brilliant first book of Kathleen Duey's dark, complex, and completely compelling trilogy.
About the Author
Kathleen Duey has written more than forty books for children. The Unicorn's Secret is based on a dream she had when she was at school. She lives in southern California.
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This double-narrative fantasy begins slowly but deepens into a potent and affecting story of struggle. First, a small farm boy begs a magician (healer) to help his mother through childbirth, but the magician's corrupt and leaves the baby on the floor and the mother dead. The baby is Sadima. Sadima grows up able to read animals' minds and eventually seeks the city, where she joins two intense young men: tempestuously abusive Somiss, madly trying to capture ancient languages of magic, and Franklin, serving Somiss with odd devotion. Somiss claims his work will restore banned magic and help the poor. In a second story line, a boy named Hahp is sent to a magician's academy where he's starved, abused and taught meditation. Only one boy will live to graduate as a wizard, and they're forbidden to help each other survive the filth and hunger. Some painful connections between the two narratives emerge, though key details - and the fates of Sadima and Hahp - wait for the sequel. Darkly resonant. (Fantasy. 10-14) (Kirkus Reviews)
Series: Resurrection of Magic Ser.
For Ages: 12 - 15 years old
Published: 7th February 2008
Dimensions (cm): 19.800 x 12.900 x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.246