Star­born

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Rated book -

It’s a kind of magic

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

400 pages | Hard­back/ ebook Au­thor: Lucy Houn­som Pub­lisher: Tor

With para­nor­mal

ro­mance and ur­ban fan­tasy of­ten dom­i­nat­ing the shelves, it’s good to have a solid, tra­di­tional fan­tasy to set­tle down to. And one with a fe­male pro­tag­o­nist is al­ready set­ting it­self up ahead of the curve.

Kyn­dra is an av­er­age girl living an av­er­age life in her small town, await­ing the day when she will be­come an adult and re­ceive her in­her­i­tance – the knowl­edge of her true name and des­tiny – along with all the young peo­ple in her home­land. But a day that should have been full of hope goes trag­i­cally wrong and her neigh­bours turn on her, leav­ing her to be res­cued by two pass­ing strangers, wield­ers of magic who in­sist she leaves with them. As Kyn­dra trav­els closer to their home of Naris, she learns more of the day/ night magic of the sun and the moon, while flash­backs to a past she never knew keep fill­ing her mind. She’s also be­ing fol­lowed by a man her saviours in­sist is danger­ous, but who passes her sto­ries of the third, rarer type of magic – that used by the pow­er­ful Star­born.

It’s a solid take on a clas­sic genre, while never quite leav­ing the zone of com­fort­able fan­tasy. De­riv­a­tive at times and slow to start, Star­born nonethe­less de­vel­ops into a solid, en­joy­able tale that prob­a­bly won’t end quite where you ex­pect. And though you may want to shake Kyn­dra for her lack of self­aware­ness about her mem­o­ries and her pow­ers, she’s still a well- drawn, rounded char­ac­ter you’ll find it easy to root for. Rhian Drinkwa­ter Houn­som re­searched many sub­jects, and pored over pic­tures of burns in­juries so she could ac­cu­rately de­scribe them.

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