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[Book Review] - Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey

Title: Skin Hunger
   Author: Kathleen Duey
   Series: #1 - A Resurrection of Magic
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: July 24th, 2007
   My Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0

     Sadima lives in a world where magic has been banned, leaving poor villagers prey to fakes and charlatans. A "magician" stole her family's few valuables and left Sadima's mother to die on the day Sadima was born. But vestiges of magic are hidden in old rhymes and hearth tales and in people like Sadima, who conceals her silent communication with animals for fear of rejection and ridicule. When rumors of her gift reach Somiss, a young nobleman obsessed with restoring magic, he sends Franklin, his lifelong servant, to find her. Sadima's joy at sharing her secret becomes love for the man she shares it with. But Franklin's irrevocable bond to the brilliant and dangerous Somiss traps her, too, and she faces a heartbreaking decision

     Centuries later magic has been restored, but it is available only to the wealthy and is strictly controlled by wizards within a sequestered academy of magic. Hahp, the expendable second son of a rich merchant, is forced into the academy and finds himself paired with Gerrard, a peasant boy inexplicably admitted with nine sons of privilege and wealth. Only one of the ten students will graduate -- and the first academic requirement is survival

     Sadima's and Hahp's worlds are separated by generations, but their lives are connected in surprising and powerful ways in this brilliant first book of Kathleen Duey's dark, complex, and completely compelling trilogy.

My Review:

     Skin Hunger was an interesting book, I honestly can’t remember where or who told me to pick this book up. That doesn’t matter now; I was a mild fan of this book when it started. There was something catching, that made me want to flip the page and keep going. It wasn’t one of those amazing “I need to finish this or the world will end” moments, but it was subtle, drug me into the book until I found I was flipping the pages faster than nearly any other book I have so far

     I found it hard to tell the time gap between the two stories told by Haph and Sadima. There is a huge time disparity between the two and frankly it’s hard to discern that, but it’s not like there some narrator there to tell me “150+ years later…” That was my only real fumble in the entire book

     Sadima, her story is one that I fell in love with when I started. She was the reason I kept reading honestly. Her ability to hear and talk to animals is astounding and there was this mystery of what was so bad about magic that made it so she had to hide it from everyone. There was some question there, which made me want to find it. I know that the kings, it is outlawed, whatnot will kill them, but there has to be some other reason

     Her story goes above a small romance with Franklin and how she wants to make him happy. As well, there is Somiss, the spoiled aristocrat that is on the venture to recreate and bring magic back. The biggest issue with the story was Franklin, I understand his perspective and why he does what he does, but he never seems to want to leave Somiss’s side, and expecting Sadima to be there as well for him. Maybe expects isn’t the best word, but maybe wishes

     Haph is another story and I have to agree with what I’ve heard from a fellow blogger, that this part of the book is what would happen to Harry Potter if he was sold off to be a wizard. Yet at every turn there is a test, a trial that is every part of life or death. Haph’s story is complete darkness, young boys pushed to starvation, intimidated, and frankly abused to the point of death all so they can learn magic. This part was the most riveting; the most disturbing darkness within the school was what kept everything interesting with Haph

     As well, since the two stories never meet, never seem to align at all it becomes another issue, why? Somiss and Franklin are part of both stories, Haph and Sadima, but the missing element in both is the presents of both at one point. As well, for most readers, the complete darkness, the horrid tales of Haph, means that this book really won’t appeal to the masses, but there is an gold-lining to this. This book is every bit of original and unique

     Due to how Mrs. Duey creates a world were magic is both outlawed, and how one has to learn how to use magic is both cruel, dark, and twisted, there is this originality. Something that may not appeal to everyone, but those that do find it interesting will agree how different and fresh this book is. There is just something about this book, that leaves the ending completely open, every question unanswered just so that the series has something to answer, and frankly I will be looking for to every bit of this series.
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