Oh! A sky-bound adventure with incredible battles, social turmoil and intricate world-building that pits a young, endlessly surprising heroine against an entire empire…I’m intrigued. But when you begin with an attack by a giant tortoise and add an ode to Japanese culture and timeless paper-crafting into the mix…you have my complete attention…
author: Ann Sei Lin
Walker Books (5 May 2022)
All of her life, Kurara has been nothing more than a servant girl on board the Midori.. with a unique party trick of making paper come to life. This turns out to be a power treasured across the empire. Now running from an enemy she does not understand, she joins a skyship crew and trains to become a Crafter, the most powerful and feared soldiers in the sky or on land. Taught by the gruff but wise Himura, Kurara learns to hunt shikigami – wild paper spirits who are sought after by the Princess. Are the shikigami just powerful slaves, or are they beings with their own souls? And can a Kurara be the one to help them find their voice? A whole new world is unfolding; a world full of mystery, power and peril.
This is astonishing! The elegant writing allows a rich, imaginative plot to develop gracefully as the reader is drawn into a fantasy adventure that will live long in the mind, creating a sense of possibilities and endless mystery. The world created here is steeped in a new and different mythology, intricate with a wealth of detail and alive with beauty and danger. While all the characters are well-rounded and believable, Kurara shines; a fascinating character, holding mysteries of her own that even she knows nothing about. These unfold gradually, revealing themselves throughout delicate twists and turns in the story that start off seeping slowly to life, only to explode with action and surprise. Her talent of paper-crafting, breathing life into her origami-style creations is glorious, inspiring. Social structures, relationships and nuances of this life show themselves with a curiosity that is thought-provoking and emotion-stirring. The writing has that deep textural, visual quality, pulling at the reader, rebuilding this world in their own imagination; cinematic in its’ effect. A stunning debut; intriguing, thrilling, curious, bold…Rebel Skies is a triumph. Perfect for YA or fantasy readers everywhere. https://www.walker.co.uk/Rebel-Skies-9781406399592.aspx