Thursday, March 25, 2021

Night Shine by Tessa Gratton - OPTIONAL

Night Shine by Tessa Gratton
, 390 pages. Margaret K. McElderberry Books, 2020. $19.99. 

Language: G (0 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG-13 (vague references to sex); Violence: R (fairly graphic fantasy violence) 



An orphan girl named Nothing only wanted to be around her true friend, Prince Kirin, but when he is kidnapped by the Sorceress Who Eats Girls, it is up to her and the prince’s bodyguard to save him. However, once they track him down to the sorceress’ stronghold in the Fifth Mountain, Nothing slowly starts to realize that she is much more powerful than anybody ever assumed. 

 If you can get beyond the fact that Nothing is the main character’s name, you will find an interesting Asian-flavored fantasy quest story, the heart of which focuses on gender-fluidity, transgender identity, and personal identity. Nothing has spent her whole life focused on Kirin, so when she was separated from him, she was forced to come to terms with who and what she really is. The Asian elements are a bit clumsy (the cover character doesn’t even really look Asian); they add flavor, but no meaning. The world-building is only acceptable, some bones, but no meat. Gratton has written much better books than this. 

Reviewer: BookswithBeddes 

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