Sacred Scars by

Sadima sat cross-legged on the cold stone, just outside the cage.
–Kathleen Duey - Sacred Scars - c.2009

A resurrection of magic : Book 2

If you haven’t read book one, Skin Hunger, then be warned, this follows on directly from that so there are spoilers for events in book one.

The book opens with with Sadima. At the end of Skin Hunger she, Franklin, and Somiss were driven out of their home by a fire and have escaped to live in caves. There, hiding out in the tunnels, Somiss continues his research and Franklin continues to work for him, while Sadima continues to plot her escape. She also is determined to rescue the orphaned boys that Somiss has locked up in a cage. Not to mention persuading Franklin that he needs to run, he needs to escape from Somiss rather than waiting for Somiss to turn good.

In Hahp’s storyline he is still struggling at wizard school. Desperately trying to learn enough to be allowed to eat. But as time passes he realises that what he really wants is to get all the students together and turn on the wizards. To bring them and their twisted torture-house of a school down. But how can he do that when part of what the wizards do so well is keep the students at each other’s throats. They aren’t even allowed to talk, how can they possibly band together and help each other survive.

Sacred Scars by Kathleen Duey[/caption]I quite liked the first book in this series, although I found in interesting rather than gripping, and I liked parts of it but didn’t enjoy it all. This one I thought was far far better. All the set up has been done; we know so much more about Somiss and Franklin now. I found Sacred Scars to be a much more enthralling read. Sadima’s story is the one I prefer, but Hahp’s is important too, and I’m constantly wondering how she fits into Hahp’s.

Sadima’s story change so much in this book. You really feel for her, she is an utterly different person at the end compared to who she was back in book one. Or even at the start of the book. And more and more I had to blame Franklin. At times in Skin Hunger I did feel sorry for him, but I also wanted Sadima to just slap him and leave. He was far too caught up in what Somiss wanted. Understandably due to his childhood and upbringing, but not an excuse for what he lets happen, and then participates in. I’d have to agree with Gerrard, in many ways Franklin is worse that Somiss. He knows what he does is wrong and evil, but he still does it.

I do hope we get more of Jux’s storyline. We know where he and the other boys ended up, because of Hahp’s story, but how did he get there?

Sadima’s story covers a huge amount of time. In some ways it skips over years far too quickly, but I understand why Duey did that. Reading about a happy, average life wouldn’t be all that entertaining. So she had to just give a flavour, and she does a good job, I really had a sense of who Sadima became once she returned to Limori and South End. And although Charlie and Grurr didn’t feature for very long they certainly made an impact.

Book three is currently been rewritten. I can’t wait to see what’ll happen to Sadima in it.

Buy or Borrow | Words Without End entry
other reviews : The Readventurer ; Fantasy Magazine ; Bunbury in the Stacks

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