In the Shadow of the Sun

Feiwel & Friends. Feb. 2020. 352p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250226020.
Gr 7 Up–Henriette, an English princess, is set to marry Philippe, the younger brother of Louis XIV. In this tale, a mash-up of historical fiction and fantasy, magicians and Sources have a symbiotic relationship—Sources possess magic but cannot use it; magicians have no magic and must draw on a Source. Someone is killing Sources, and Henriette, a Source, must conceal her status. She spends her time dealing with court gossip and her bisexual husband’s male lover. When Louis XIV, who is a magician, has an emergency, Henriette reveals she is a Source to help him. The two decide to continue hiding her abilities, and Henriette offers to aid Louis in building a great palace at Versailles. However, now the Sources of court magicians are dying, and Henriette and Louis, with help from trusted courtiers, must locate the killer. Henriette struggles to save her marriage and assist Louis without jeopardizing her health. The descriptions of court events and politics, and the relationship between Sources and magicians, are fascinating. The few love scenes hint at further activities without being explicit. This would be an excellent companion for readers who liked Gita Trelease’s Enchantée.
VERDICT Full of court events, gossip, and the intrigue of murder, magic, and secrets, this is a good general purchase.

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