Young Sefia is in danger. She has a strange object called a book. Aunt Nin has protected her since the death of her father, but when her pursuers take Nin too, Sefia vows to find answers, find Nin, and get revenge. Sefia is a strong and thoughtful heroine who gains an ally in Archer, a boy she rescues from brutal captivity. While she works to fulfill her vows, she is also learning the secret of the book—she is learning to read and finding the power that comes from it.
In this first installment of a young adult fantasy trilogy, Chee creates a mythical and dangerous world of pirates, seers, and strange lands where reading is one of many magical powers. Because it includes a fair bit of violence, this novel is best for ages 14 and up. (Putnam)