The Good Hawk

Random/Walker Bks. 368p. (Shadow Skye: Bk. 1). Walker Bks. Jan. 2020. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781536207187..
Gr 6-8–In mythical Scotland, years after a plague has wiped out the people on the mainland, the Isle of Skye is falling into turbulence. When another tribe kidnaps their clan, Jaime and Agatha are determined to rescue them--even if that means taking a fearsome enemy hostage, trekking the haunting mainland, and being forced to question their own long-held beliefs about the world and their places in it. Thoughtful Jaime shies away from conflict and has panic attacks, and Agatha has Down syndrome, although that specific name is never used in the book. The first-person narration switches between the two characters, a stylistic move that Elliott uses to great effect. Agatha’s feelings and motivations, in particular, are clear and complex while showing the unique way she views the world. The plot is a singular, driving line; the enemies are nasty, the monsters chilling, and the sweeping Scottish backdrop provides a dramatic, cinematic setting. The ending sets up the rest of the series, which is sure to be just as exciting.
VERDICT Readers will be swept up in this story of unique heroes, new voices, and Scottish mythos. This is a natural next step for fans of Rick Riordan and mythology.

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