Twilight Hauntings

HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Bks. (­Enchanter’s Child: Bk. 1). Mar. 2020. 368p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062875143.
Gr 4-7–Sage kicks off the first book in her “Enchanter’s Child” duology with a prologue that describes how the King’s Enchanter gave up his baby daughter to an unknown woman in order to save her. Ten years later in the city of Luma, Alex knows nothing of her true parents; only the drudgery of doing household chores while her stepmother and foster sisters boss her around. She does have two comforts—her younger brother Louie and her hexagonal cards that can foretell the future. But Luma has banned magic and when one sister betrays her to the Sentinels, Alex and Louie must flee. They escape to a forest but are pursued by deadly Twilight Hauntings including river snakes, stinging butterflies, a giant Hawke, and the suffocating Gray Walker. Meanwhile, the ex-Enchanter Hagos Ravenstarr forms an alliance with the Hawke’s former Flyer, Danny. They start searching for the magical items needed to destroy the Hauntings; the same quest Alex also undertakes. Sage has built a fully realized world populated by intriguing characters and terrifying monsters. She skillfully builds tension using plot twists that include friendship and betrayal, good intentions and misunderstandings, fearsome attacks and daring escapes, and family dramas of various sorts.
VERDICT Fans of fantasy and adventure will snap this up and eagerly await the sequel. A first purchase.

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