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*****= An all-time favorite
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****Slaves of the Mastery

Book Two of the Wind on Fire Trilogy

by William Nicholson

Reviewed April 6, 2002.
Hyperion Books for Children, 2001.  434 pages.  Available at Sembach Library (JF NIC).

The first book of the Wind on Fire Trilogy, The Wind Singer, was so good I decided to read it to my boys at bedtime.  (Sembach Library also has the first book.)  It was, in some ways, your typical Children Defy Deterministic Society book.  However, I thought it was especially good because in this case it was a loving and likable family that defied the repressing powers that be.  I wanted to know more about them.

Well, if I had read this second book first, I probably wouldn’t have wanted to read it to my 7-year-old.  It’s very good, and fine for a teen, but there are some rather horrible punishments and violence, which I’d rather not have had him hear about.  Still, we all enjoyed the book.  (He didn’t mind hearing about the torture--It was I who minded that he heard.)

The second book is not your typical anything.  The plot wasn’t like any other fantasy novel I’ve ever read.  In this installment, the Manth people, who were liberated from their rigid rules in the first book, are conquered by the Mastery and taken into slavery.  Kestrel Hath escapes the carnage and follows her people, meeting up along the way with a beautiful princess whose destiny is to marry a prince of the Mastery.

Meanwhile, Kestrel’s twin, Bowman Hath, discovers powers he didn’t know he had.  Their mother, the prophetess Ira Hath, prophesies great destruction and woe before their people get to their Homeland.  The plot is intriguing, with many different threads weaving together into a dramatic conclusion.  Unfortunately, the story is not finished--I hope that William Nicholson writes the next book quickly!

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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