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Even the Darkest Stars Hardcover – September 5, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—As youngest daughter of the village elder, 17-year-old Kamzin is being trained to become a shaman, a conjurer of magic. She wants more than anything to be an explorer. When the young, ruggedly attractive Royal Explorer, River Shara, descends upon her village in a hot-air balloon, the world shifts for Kamzin, and sparks fly between the two. In this YA fantasy series opener, complications ensue, and Kamzin embarks on an expedition to seize the magic talisman at the top of Raksha—a mountain from which no explorer has ever returned alive. If they fail to claim it, the dormant kingdom of witches will rise again and destroy all the villages, including Kamzin's. To prevent this, the two heroes and their team begin climb through pelting hail, avalanches, and freezing winds. They must also contend with the presence of hostile mountain ghosts. Unknown to the party, River has made a secret contract with a fire demon; each time he invokes its power, he must give a piece of his soul to the smoldering creature. Kamzin reels from her strong physical attraction to River, which conflicts with her inner voice that warns he is deceiving her on some level. VERDICT This book will appeal to readers who do not mind ambiguity in their characters. A good choice for most YA fantasy shelves.—Denise Kim, Bronx High School of Science, NY
“An utterly inventive and wholly original debut.” (Booklist (starred review))
“With a dash of romantic entanglement, a rich original mythology, and a sizzler of a twist at the end, this duology opener will appeal to fans of femalecentric fantasy by such authors as Leigh Bardugo and Sarah Maas.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Brilliantly rendering aspects of mountaineering, debut novelist fawcett makes readers feel the constant danger and bitter cold.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))
“Fawcett brings snow-capped mountains—and their baleful secrets—alive in this magical, atmospheric debut.” (Evelyn Skye, New York Times bestselling author of The Crown's Game)
“Cinematically vivid…immersive and absorbing.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
“A deeply satisfying feast for fantasy lovers...I fell in love with this book from the earliest pages and have left the gnawed-off pieces of my heart scattered across the Aryas.” (Catherine Egan, author of Julia Vanishes)
“A lush adventure filled with magic, myth, and monsters. Even the Darkest Stars will sweep you off your feet, steal your heart somewhere between the mountains and sky, and leave you breathless.” (Sarah Glenn Marsh, author of Fear the Drowning Deep and Reign of the Fallen)
“It’s Into Thin Air drenched in fantasy with some bonus high-altitude make-outs.” (The Globe and Mail)
Top customer reviews
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The adventure begins in a small village with our main character Kamzin. Kamzin is the second daughter of the village Elder and is always falling short in all the areas that seem to count. She is supposed to be the next village shaman but is terrible at magic, she has some body issues, and never feels she can do anything right. Her older sister Lusha, on the other hand, seems to thrive at everything she does. She is beautiful, with men falling over her left and right, she can read the stars and use them to interpret the future and past, and most importantly she has been chosen to lead the Royal Explorer, River Shara, on a grand expedition. This expedition involved climbing to the top of a giant mountain called Raksha (think Mount Everest but with a whole lot of evil) to retrieve a talisman that the Emperor requires. Becoming an explorer has been Kamzin dream since she was a child and hearing that her sister (who previously had little interest in it) has been selected, well it doesn’t go over very well. When River Shara arrives let’s just say Kamzin isn’t on her best behavior and we end up with a very hilarious situation that most of us have been in a time or two ourselves. But the real expedition begins the next day when Kamzin finds out that Lusha and River’s chronicler, Mara, have run off to be the first to climb Raksha and retrieve the talisman for the Emperor. River picks Kamzin to help him get to the top of the mountain before Lusha and Mara and soon they head off on their journey.
The part I loved most about this book was the journey. They run into so many different obstacles and all the different ways they are overcome are just as exciting!! I also really enjoyed the world building. The writing was so descriptive I felt I was hiking right along side Kamzin and River! It also seemed like the author did her research on climbing because everything seemed very accurate and detailed! And while there were some plot twists that took me by surprise the biggest one I really felt I saw coming but had really, really hoped wasn’t true!! I still enjoyed reading the book and falling in love with all the characters. I recommend this book if you are looking for a fun book about magic, love and a harrowing expedition up a very evil and ominous mountain.
Even the Darkest Stars was so captivating that I ended up reading it extremely quickly. Already I want to reread it to experience Kamzin's adventure again. Honestly I've never read a book like it, I strongly believe that Kamzin's journey is a highly unique one to the YA genre and combined with the incredible setting, fascinating characters and Heather's absolutely outstanding writing, this book is certainly not one to miss! Highly recommended to those who love a good mix of adventure and a bit of romance. ♥
It's about a girl named Kamzin who basically scales a dangerous mountain with a shifty eyed yet hot explorer. We have a typical love triangle which I truly don't mind if it's done right. World building is up to par. I mean, it takes places on a mountain. I haven't read a YA like this.
Some people found the journey boring, but I couldn't put the book down. There's dangers, secrets, and lots and lots of tension.
The only thing I hated was that it ended on a cliffhanger that left more to be desired. I await the second!
I really wanted to ship Tem and Kamzin in the beginning, but as the story progressed I totally shipped River and Kamzin. This who love triangle made my head spin through the entire book!
I can't keep going or else I'll spoil something and I don't want to do that.
Overall, very good read. I really hated that cliffhanger though! It seriously tore a part of my soul out. Can't wait for the next book!!
Most recent customer reviews
I really enjoyed the descriptions of hiking, climbing, and camping.Read more
The biggest problem I found with this book was the characters.Read more