In this luminous fantasy, Sherryl Jordan surpasses her award-winning novel The Raging Quiet with a vividly realized story that centers on a young healer, the evocatively named Gabriel, as he moves inexorably toward fulfilling his destiny with a heroic sacrifice. Born in the urban city-state of Navora, Gabriel is also strongly drawn to the tribal society of Shinali that survives on the plain outside the city gates. He is haunted by a secret guilt, a moment from his childhood when out of fear he failed to help a dying Shinali woman. The richly detailed narrative moves quietly through Gabriel's training at the Citadel, where he learns the mystical arts of healing mind and body, and then gains in pace and excitement as he attracts the unwelcome attention of the sly and unstable Empress and is drawn irresistibly into the intrigue that surrounds her dependence on the malevolent counselor Jaganath. When Gabriel must flee the city, he retreats to the simple life of the plains people and his love for the strong and serene Ashila. But when the Navorans imprison the Shinali and then plan to destroy them, Gabriel must find the courage to make the sacrifice that will save both their nations. Themes of forgiveness and redemption, echoes of the Nazi Holocaust and the genocide of Native Americans, as well as a radiant love story illuminate this beautiful and intelligent novel for fantasy readers of all ages. (Ages 12 and older).|
Source: Patty Campbell, Amazon.com.