FICTION

Night Shine

S.&S./Margaret K. McElderry Bks. Sept. 2020. 400p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781534460775.
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Gr 9 Up–A girl called Nothing, left as a baby on the palace steps, becomes Prince Kirin’s best friend. But when the prince returns from a long trip, she realizes he’s an imposter and must kill him. Nothing vows to find the real Kirin, who is gender-fluid and uses he/him pronouns, setting off with his beloved bodyguard Sky for Fifth Mountain, where a sorceress holds the prince captive. On the journey, Nothing discovers that she is not entirely human, and upon arrival the sorceress teaches Nothing that true love transcends form, whether demon or dragon or boy or girl. Nothing will have to fight through the ultimate of betrayals to find her true self, save her friends, and reunite with her love. Gratton has penned another marvelous tale. Dedicated to gender-fluid teens, this edgy, riveting fantasy of bone-deep love, acceptance, and betrayal will speak to all readers. What starts out as a classic heroic quest slowly evolves, then turns inside out and back again. Written in almost poetic language, both story and characters grow from earnest naivety to fascinating, sensual, and extraordinary.
VERDICT Recommended for all fantasy lovers, and perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Holly Black, and Tomi Adeyemi.

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