The Skylighter

432p. (The Keepers' Chronicles: Bk. 2). ebook available. S. & S./Margaret K. McElderry Bks. Mar. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481405683.
Gr 8 Up—This second installment picks up right where The Storyspinner (S. & S., 2014) left off. Johanna, with help from Rafi and Jacaré, continues on her quest to restore the magical barrier, but things get complicated as she and Rafi explore their budding feelings for each other. Rafi's brother Dom is left to handle the duties of duke at home in Santiago, which becomes dangerous as nearby fiefs move to draw their homeland into the looming war over the throne. Pira and Leão are left searching for and rescuing each other while also trying to catch up with Jacaré and Johanna. All the while, there are Keepers already on this side of the wall who will stop at nothing to keep Johanna and her allies from achieving their goal. Readers will be pleased with the continuation of the story of Johanna and the Keepers. This volume has more romance and clichéd dialogue than the previous entry, as well as Wallace's page-turning action sequences. Multiple character perspectives continue with two new voices, which leads to surprising character development.
VERDICT A compelling, unique world with Portuguese-inspired echoes of Patrick Rothfuss's The Name of the Wind (DAW, 2007), this series is a must for fans of fantasy.

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