Her Radiant Curse

Knopf. Aug. 2023. 432p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780593300992.
Gr 7 Up–A spellbinding adventure that focuses on the bond between sisters and the strength it takes to be our true selves. Channi’s father was supposed to sacrifice her new sister to the demon witch, but when the baby is born beautiful and radiating golden light, he drags Channi into the jungle instead. Channi survives her encounter, but at a cost—now she looks like a monster, her blood is poison, and the witch swears to come on her sister Vanna’s 17th birthday to kill them both if Channi doesn’t give her sister up to save herself. Channi won’t sacrifice her sister and trains her whole life to fight the demon witch. On her 17th birthday, Vanna is more beautiful than ever, and their father hosts a selection for Vanna’s suitors to bid on her. When Vanna’s cruelest admirer wins, Channi duels the man’s champion for her sister’s freedom and finds herself suddenly the focus of his attention. Lim’s latest novel broadens the horizons of her “Legends of Lor’yan,” standing alone and highlighting traditional folklore and fairy-tale elements. Channi deals with the consequences of her actions as she grows out of her impulsiveness to grapple with the weight of prophecy and the sacrifices it entails. Readers familiar with the other books will recognize some side characters, but prior knowledge of the world is not required. Characters are coded a variety of Asian ethnicities.
VERDICT Highly recommended for new and experienced fantasy readers. Hand to fans of Judy I. Lin’s A Magic Steeped in Poison or Melissa Bashardoust’s Girl, Serpent, Thorn.

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