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The Shadow Behind the Stars by [Hahn, Rebecca]
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The Shadow Behind the Stars Kindle Edition

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Length: 257 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Age Level: 12 and up Grade Level: 7 and up

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up—Chloe is the youngest of the three sisters who spin the world. Her fingers choose the wool, spin the thread, and begin each life. Motherly Serena guides the thread and marks the end. Xinot, the oldest, slices each thread with a snap of her shears. When a girl appears at their door asking to understand her disastrous fate, the sisters have nothing to say. Serena casts a spell meant to ease the girl's pain before sending her away. Instead, the spell begins a series of events that will bring about the end of the world. This sophomore novel from Hahn takes readers on a strange and wondrous course through questions of fate and free will as the narrator and her sisters embark on a journey with the potential to change the very foundation of existence. Written in second person as Chloe tells her story to us mere mortals, this evocative and descriptive novel is timeless beyond the assumed ancient Greek setting. A unique voice and mythology-tinged writing give this quiet book some punch and offer a few surprising revelations for the three sisters. Hahn expertly tackles the power of belief and choice in this thoughtful and introspective work. Strong characters and intricate prose help to mitigate a plot that is often slow and narrowly focused with insights about the human condition that may seem obvious to older readers. VERDICT This unique and often literary yarn will appeal to those interested in mythology, fate, and philosophy.—Emma Carbone, Brooklyn Public Library

Review

From the author of the radiant A Creature of Moonlight (2014), a heartbreaking fantasy tackles life's big questions. Why do terrible things happen? How is one supposed to keep on going afterward? And what is there left to live for? After her life is brutally destroyed, the devastated Aglaia seeks out the three Fates of Greek myth and demands answers. Motherly Serena and even dour Xinot take pity on the innocent girl, but from the very beginning, youngest sister Chloe, who spins the threads of destiny for the other two to measure and cut, senses that Aglaia—with her stunning beauty, clear vision, and fierce determination—threatens the very foundations of their reality. For as the sisters are drawn inexorably into Aglaia's suffering and plans for vengeance, they become increasingly immersed in the human lives, filled with all their hopes and joys and tragedies and griefs, from which the Fates need isolation. Chloe's narrative voice is piercing and poetic, encompassing both youthful heedlessness and eternal power, rich in minute observations, delicate metaphors, restrained accountings of atrocities, and reluctant wisdom. Alongside her sisters, she comes to sing mortals "a tune of cataclysms, of breaking points, of beautiful horrors"—but the final aching chord of helpless love becomes the unexpected triumphant resolution to every impossible question. Shattering and transcendent. (Kirkus, *STARRED REVIEW June 1, 2015)

* "From the author of the radiant A Creature of Moonlight (2014), a heartbreaking fantasy tackles life's big questions.... Chloe's narrative voice is piercing and poetic, encompassing both youthful heedlessness and eternal power, rich in minute observations, delicate metaphors, restrained accountings of atrocities, and reluctant wisdom. Alongside her sisters, she comes to sing mortals "a tune of cataclysms, of breaking points, of beautiful horrors"—but the final aching chord of helpless love becomes the unexpected triumphant resolution to every impossible question. Shattering and transcendent." (Kirkus Reviews, June 2015, STARRED REVIEW)

“A strange and wondrous course through questions of fate and free will . . . Hahn expertly tackles the power of belief and choice in this thoughtful and introspective work.” (School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW July 2015)

THE SHADOW BEHIND THE STARS

By Rebecca Hahn

(BFYR; ISBN 9781481435710; 9/1/15; Fall 2015 catalog)

Chloe is the youngest of the three sisters who spin the world. Her fingers choose the wool, spin the thread, and begin each life. Motherly Serena guides the thread and marks the end. Xinot, the oldest, slices each thread with a snap of her shears. When a girl appears at their door asking to understand her disastrous fate, the sisters have nothing to say. Serena casts a spell meant to ease the girl’s pain before sending her away. Instead, the spell begins a series of events that will bring about the end of the world. This sophomore novel from Hahn takes readers on a strange and wondrous course through questions of fate and free will as the narrator and her sisters embark on a journey with the potential to change the very foundation of existence. Written in second person as Chloe tells her story to us mere mortals, this evocative and descriptive novel is timeless beyond the assumed ancient Greek setting. A unique voice and mythology-tinged writing give this quiet book some punch and offer a few surprising revelations for the three sisters. Hahn expertly tackles the power of belief and choice in this thoughtful and introspective work. Strong characters and intricate prose help to mitigate a plot that is often slow and narrowly focused with insights about the human condition that may seem obvious to older readers. VERDICT This unique and often literary yarn will appeal to those interested in mythology, fate, and philosophy. (School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW July 2015)

When the beautiful Aglaia appears at the doorway of the three Fates, Chloe, the youngest of the sisters,

understands the danger. The trio shapes the world, with Chloe spinning each mortal’s thread, Serena

determining its length, and Xinot cutting it with her shears, and they must not get involved. Yet none can

resist the lovely Aglaia and her poignant demand to know what there is to live for since her family, village,

and all she loves has been destroyed by raiders. Thus begins the dreadful entanglement that almost ends

the world, as the three sisters find themselves caring about this mortal and daring to alter her thread.

Hahn’s latest is a beautifully written, if not always straightforward, recounting of the mythological

explanation of human destiny: why bad things happen to good people. Hahn’s lovingly crafted characters

and the brief, unexpected pops of violence in an otherwise peaceful narrative enhance yet another

explication of the tragedy of humankind, making this an obvious choice for mythology fans (plenty of

those around) and teen philosophers (maybe they exist?) alike. (Booklist September 1, 2015)

In this delicatelycrafted tragedy, the three Fates reencounter love, vulnerability, and mortalitywhen Aglaia, the desperate survivor of a raid that destroyed her village,arrives on the island where they have retreated from the too-painful humanworld. Hahn (A Creature of Moonlight) captures the dueling beauties of humanlife and inhuman fate in poetic prose; Aglaia's hair "rivaled the whitestone walls for blinding glory," while the sisters "must love thebeauty of [their] threads, shiver at the mystery that lies at either end."If they stray from their duty of crafting human destinies, the world will end.Chloe, the youngest and, she believes, strongest of the Fates, plans to drownAglaia rather than risk her sisters becoming entangled with a mortal. But Chloeis not as immune to Aglaia's lure as she thinks, and soon all three are caughtup in her efforts to avenge the raid and secure a future for her infant child,the product of rape. While the story is initially slow to get underway, itbuilds to a conclusion that is satisfying and true. (Publishers Weekly *STARRED REVIEW* August 17, 2015)

“Awell-orchestrated tale of mythical beauty, painful remembrance, and fatefulconsequences…readers will soon be entranced by her ethereal prose and will befervently turning the pages to understand the mystery surrounding Aglaia’sarrival.” (VOYA)

  Chloeand her sisters, Xinot and Serena, are the three fates. Responsible forspinning the threads that shape the lives of mortals, they have lived foreverand possess great power although they seldom use it. Separated from humans andliving on an island, the sisters keep to themselves, as it is dangerous to mixwith the world of man—until one day an astonishingly beautiful human girl arrivesnamed Aglaia. She shares a tale of Endymion and the raiders who brutallyattacked her village and stole everything from her, killing her family andleaving her with a lifelong burden and thirst for vengeance. It becomesapparent that Aglaia’s destiny is one that holds beauty as well as great pain, andthe three fates become inextricably attached to her journey, following herthread to a conclusion that could mean the end for them all.
The Shadow Behind the Stars is a well-orchestrated tale of mythical beauty, painful remembrance, andfateful consequences. Although Hahn is slow to lay the groundwork for thestory, readers will soon be entranced by her ethereal prose and will befervently turning the pages to understand the mystery surrounding Aglaia’s arrival.This book will be an instant hit with fans of fantasy and Greek mythology.Hahn’s unique take on life and death will provoke thoughtful questioning fromstudents, as this book could be used as an extension to traditionalmythological studies. (VOYA October 1, 2015)

* “This lyrical, thoughtful novel . . . is well worth the measured pace; it will likely linger with philosophical readers, particularly those familiar with the mythological Fates, long after they’ve finished.” (BCCB, starred review)

Themythical Fates get closer examination in this intriguing, startling novel,where Serena, Xinot, and Chloe each play their roles in the thread thatcontrols human life. None of them, though, knows what to do when a girl comesto their door, demanding answers about how her life was horrifyingly overturnedin a day. They try to remove her memories, but this is merely a temporary andflawed solution, and the inevitable undoing of the memory block sets this girlfree in ways that may change the whole world. Chloe narrates the story withmuch direct address to the audience, warning us that grappling with fate cannever end well. The story’s timelessness allows it to close the gap betweenclassical mythology and modern realism—at its core, this is about a girl whodares to challenge her crushing life and three imperfect, exceptional beingswho, drawn by that girl’s indomitable spirit, seek to push the boundaries oftheir own fates. This lyrical, thoughtful novel moves slowly but gracefully,but is well worth the measured pace; it will likely linger with philosophicalreaders, particularly those familiar with the mythological Fates, long afterthey’ve finished. (BCCB, *STARRED Review* December 2015)


Product details

  • File Size: 1589 KB
  • Print Length: 257 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (September 1, 2015)
  • Publication Date: September 1, 2015
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00TBKYK7Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #588,896 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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