FICTION

Spark

Scholastic. Jul. 2019. 320p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781338355994.
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Gr 7 Up–In this sequel to Ink, readers continue to see Leora’s story unfold. This fantasy gives readers two distinct groups of people, the marked, who wear marks covering their skin that detail their vices and virtues, and the blanks, who do not wear any marks but show vices and virtues through their own rituals. Leora is half blank and half marked, having grown up in the marked society and only recently discovered her roots. She has just been branded a traitor but the mayor of her community of Saintstone offers her the opportunity to prove her worth by traveling to the blank community of Featherstone under the guise of being outcast and wanting to understand her roots while actually spying for Saintstone. Leora is tentatively accepted into the community and begins to learn their history and stories, noting the similarities and differences to her own. She begins to realize that what she thought was true isn’t and that her perspective can change. Meanwhile, tensions brew as the marked leaders desire war against the blanks to wipe them out. The blanks realize fighting may be the only hope for their survival. Legends of this society’s origins are woven through the narrative and the dichotomy between the two sides is interesting. The pages contain beautiful designs in the corners that accentuate the flowing prose. A cliff-hanger ending will have readers anticipating the last book.
VERDICT An interesting plot and premise make this a great choice for fantasy shelves and where the first book in the series is popular.

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