January 15, 2018

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Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh | SLJ Review

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redstarMARSH, Sarah Glenn. Reign of the Fallen. 384p. Penguin/Razorbill. Jan. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780448494395.

Gr 7 Up –In the land of Karthia, the dead rarely stay dead, thanks to the highly respected and talented necromancers who are responsible for bringing them back to life. But there are drawbacks. Though the reanimated dead are completely lucid and capable of interacting with the living, they must remain totally shrouded. If any part of their skin is exposed, they immediately turn into mindless shades who will attack anyone in their way. After many years of successful reanimations, the necromancers are dismayed to discover that the incidences of attacks by shades is on the rise and it appears to be intentional. Someone may be deliberately destabilizing Karthia’s government by forcibly exposing the reanimated aristocracy. Odessa, a master necromancer, becomes the focal point of the shades’ attacks after the murder of her beloved partner, Evander. Accompanied by his sister Meredy, Odessa ventures into the deadlands in an attempt to uncover the truth behind the shades and save the kingdom. This is a well-done fantasy that will appeal to adults as well as its intended teen audience. The relationship that slowly develops between Odessa and Meredy is completely realistic. Inspired by her grandmother’s hospitalization and the myth of Orpheus, Marsh has created a compelling novel of death, life, and letting go. VERDICT A strong choice for all YA fantasy shelves.–Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK

This review was published in the School Library Journal December 2017 issue.

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