In Heather Kassner's spine-chilling fantasy novel, reminiscent of Serafina and the Black Cloak, an orphaned girl chases a thieving boy into a magician’s land of starless, moonless gloom where other children have gone missing before her.
"Gleams with an eerie magic, its characters burning bright and fierce. A visual treat of a tale." —Stefan Bachmann, international bestselling author of Cinders and Sparrows
In order to survive on her own, twelve-year-old Rooney de Barra collects precious moonlight, which she draws from the evening sky with her (very rare and most magical) lunar mirror. All the while she tries to avoid the rival roughhouse boys, and yet another, more terrifying danger: the dreaded thing that's been disappearing children in the night.
When Trick Aidan, the worst of the roughhouse boys, steals her lunar mirror, Rooney will do whatever it takes to get it back. Even if it means leaping into a pool of darkness after it swallows Trick and her mirror. Or braving the Plentiful Darkness, a bewitching world devoid of sky and stars. Or begrudgingly teaming up with Trick to confront the magician and unravel the magic that has trapped Warybone’s children.
Pale-skinned orphan Rooney de Barra, 12, survives on the fictional streets of Warybone by harvesting moonlight with her enchanted mirror. But when her rival, roughhouse boy Trick Aidan, who is also white, steals her mirror, Rooney is determined to retrieve it even when that means following Trick into a strange patch of darkness cast by a mysterious magician. In the darkness, Rooney and Trick discover a shadowy, claustrophobic world filled with broken objects and lost children led by the sullen, capricious, and pale Sorka, also 12. To escape the darkness before it consumes them, Rooney and Trick must join forces with their fellow captives, including brown-skinned recent arrival Devin Hayes, and find a way to bring light into the darkest shadows. As newfound bonds of necessity grow between characters and Rooney is forced to challenge her expectations and assumptions, Kassner (The Forest of Stars) allows the heroes a satisfying measure of growth. Leaning heavily upon atmosphere and lush descriptions, with setting almost a character itself, this eerie tale might have been further enriched by additional exploration and worldbuilding; still, it succeeds in delivering a robust message of resilience and hope. Ages 8 12. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary.