Once verdant with water from a magical Well, the land is drying up, and no one remembers the magic needed to keep the water flowing. If a new source isn't found soon, the people will perish. Jae doesn't mind, in a way. Read more...
Once verdant with water from a magical Well, the land is drying up, and no one remembers the magic needed to keep the water flowing. If a new source isn't found soon, the people will perish. Jae doesn't mind, in a way. By law, she is bound by a curse to obey every order given her, no matter how vile. At least in death, she'll be free.
Elan's family rules the fading realm. He comes to the estate where Jae works, searching for the hidden magic needed to replenish the Well, but it's Jae who finds it, and she who must wield it. Desperate to save his realm, Elan begs her to use it to locate the Well.
But why would a slave--abused, beaten, and treated as less than human--want to save the system that shackles her? Jae would rather see the world burn.
Though revenge clouds her vision, she agrees to help if the realm's slaves are freed. Then Elan's father arrives. The ruler's cruelty knows no limits. He is determined that the class system will not change--and that Jae will remain a slave forever.
"Ferocious and intelligent." --Kirkus Reviews
"Allen's lush debut mixes current, pressing questions with fantasy while exploring systematic injustice and historical oppression...readers will clamor for the sequel." --Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-10-10
- Reviewer: Staff
Who owns water, and what if irrigation were controlled with magic? Allens lush debut mixes current, pressing questions with fantasy while exploring systematic injustice and historical oppression. In this alternate world, Jae is one of the Closest, a race bound by a curse to serve the Highest, the current ruling race, as slaves. The Highest placed the curse on the Closest after a war over the worlds water supply, but with a drought worsening every year, there are questions about the Highests efficacy. When Jae discovers a secret hidden in a defunct fountain built before the war, she gains the power to saveor destroythe world. Allen unflinchingly portrays the abuse Jae has suffered, as well as her struggle to navigate her newfound power. Characters and stakes are clearly drawn, and fascinating touches in the worldbuilding deepen the story and show the thought the author has put into the setting. The balance between the harsh reality of Jaes world and the beauty that could be is sharply defined, and readers will clamor for the sequel. Ages 14up. Agent: Hannah Bowman, Liza Dawson Associates. (Oct.)