For a Muse of Fire

512p. HarperCollins/Greenwillow. Sept. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062380814.
OrangeReviewStarGr 9 Up—With luck and determination, Jetta hopes that she and her parents can parlay their fame as shadow players in Chakrana into passage to Aquitan to perform for the Mad Emperor. Jetta's puppets move without string or stick. Instead, she uses her blood to bind recently deceased souls into her puppets—one of the old ways that is now forbidden. There are rumors that the emperor values nothing so much as shadow plays, and Jetta believes that garnering his favor could also give her access to the spring that has cured his madness—something Jetta desperately wants for her own "malheur." An author's note explains that Jetta has bipolar disorder—a mental illness she shares with author Heilig. This start to a new trilogy is fast-paced and gripping while also offering readers a thoughtful commentary on the long-lasting ramifications of war and colonization. Chakrana and Aquitan are inspired by Asian cultures as well as French colonialism, which comes through in cultural touchstones such as food, dress, and language. Jetta's first-person narration is broken up with various ephemera including telegraph transcripts, fliers, songs, and play scenes featuring other characters. This technique works well to flesh out the novel.
VERDICT This must-have story with an inclusive cast, high stakes, and an intense cliff-hanger will leave readers clamoring for the next installment.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing