No one but the dead dare venture Below . . .
The first volume in this thrilling trilogy opens on the barren plains of Below, where Hokk and his fox sidekick, Nym, live in exile amid the remnants of our modern age.
Overhead, on the floating islands of Above, Elia is trapped in a life of endless toil and drudgery as a laundress for the Mirrored Palace. To Elia, the islands’ edges are borders that no one dares cross until the ancient ritual that delivers the dead to Below. But a series of natural disasters rumbling through Above sends Elia’s world crashing into Hokk’s—and she falls Below.
Their journey together will propel them across endless plains and through shattered cities in a centuries-old battle for the very earth and sky around them . . .
In this first book in the Broken Sky Chronicles, originally published in Canada, Chabot should catch readers' imagination with his keen eye for characterizations and flow. Elia is from Above, living and working on one of several majestic floating islands, though she and her family are little more than servants. When her island begins to crumble away, and the Imperial Guard stalk her as a traitor, she falls over the edge of her world into Below. Hokk is an exile cursed to a solitary existence on the prairies of Below for a crime committed in his youth. When he sees the islands of Above coming closer, all he can think of is to warn the same people who sentenced him. Along the way he finds Elia and takes her with him as proof that their worlds may be literally colliding. Shifting attention between Elia and Hokk, the third-person narrative draws readers along briskly, the worldbuilding tinged with details sampled from indigenous and fantasy cultures. This installment's open-ended mysteries should leave readers eager to see where it turns next. Ages 14 up.