March 20, 2018

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Iron Cast by Destiny Soria | SLJ Review

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redstarSORIA, Destiny. Iron Cast. 384p. Abrams/Amulet. Oct. 2016. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781419721922.

ya-mg-soria-ironcastGr 9 Up –Owing to a blood condition, hemopaths have the ability to perform a variety of illusions through poetry, painting, or music. In an alternate Boston, as Prohibition is on the verge of making alcohol illegal in 1919, hemopathy shows are also officially against the law. Corinne Wells and Ada Navarra have called Johnny Dervish’s club, the Cast Iron, home for years, blending their respective magical talents as a wordsmith and a songsmith both on stage and in cons meant to rustle up enough money to keep the club open. After a routine job goes wrong, Ada is sent to a hemopath prison, and her attempt at escape sets off a series of events that leave two Cast Iron workers dead and Dervish in the wind. With only each other and their talents as hemopaths and con women to rely on, Ada and Corinne will have to confront uncomfortable truths about Johnny, the Cast Iron, and themselves if they want to keep their freedom. Woven with layered themes, including racial prejudice (Corinne is white, and Ada is mixed race), Soria’s debut novel is an atmospheric alternate history fantasy. Readers will be easily swept up by the vivid descriptions of everything from historic Boston locations to complex hemopath illusions. Stories of the diverse cast of flawed and complicated characters striving to do better complement the solid female friendship at the core of this absorbing novel. VERDICT Mystery and fantasy blend well in this witty title filled with twists and fast-paced action. A first purchase for all fiction collections.–Emma Carbone, Brooklyn Public Library

This review was published in the School Library Journal December 2016 issue.