Ad­ina Rishe Gewirtz, Can­dlewick Press (APRIL), Hard­cover $18.99 (576pp), 978-0-7636-6036-9

Foreword Reviews - - Foresight / Fantasy -

Thir­teen-year-old Su­san be­gins Ad­ina Rishe Gewirtz’s Blue Win­dow “be­cause Su­san is the one who names things.” One long De­cem­ber evening, dur­ing the span be­tween day and night that she calls “blue win­dow time,” her fam­ily room win­dow ac­tu­ally glows an opaque cobalt color. Su­san and her four sib­lings in­ves­ti­gate, never sus­pect­ing that they’ll fall out the other side into the strange world of Gan­bi­har, where prophe­cies speak of the five pow­er­ful ones who will bring hope of light when the danger grows.

Su­san and her twin, Max, are as dif­fer­ent and alike as they are from the rest of their sib­lings—eleven-year-old Nell, eight-year-old Kate, and seven-year-old Jean. But as the old­est, they’re the de facto lead­ers, even when they find them­selves out of their depth in the Do­main of Gan­bi­har.

Sur­rounded by de­formed, an­i­mal­is­tic hu­mans who have sur­vived the De­struc­tion and the Change un­der the lead­er­ship of the Ge­nius, none of the sib­lings knows whether they’ll sur­vive a place where magic seems real, fo­cused in­ten­tion grants power, and ap­pear­ances aren’t what they seem.

Each sib­ling is given a sec­tion of the novel to nar­rate, and as per­spec­tives shift, who these sib­lings are and who they’re be­com­ing is con­tin­u­ally re­con­fig­ured. As they learn about the Ge­nius, the Fa­nat­ics, the Sleep­ers, and the Slash­ers who in­habit this world, each must con­struct new no­tions of good and bad, even as Gan­bi­har of­fers or de­nies them power, priv­i­lege, safety, and se­cu­rity ac­cord­ing to terms they’ve never be­fore known.

A clas­sic por­tal fan­tasy, Blue Win­dow re­veals the in­tri­ca­cies of in­di­vid­ual ex­pe­ri­ence. As each sib­ling wres­tles to un­der­stand Gan­bi­har’s so­ci­etal ethics and val­ues, di­ver­gent re­al­i­ties are cre­ated. Ul­ti­mately, the five sib­lings must rec­on­cile these truths and their re­la­tion­ships to each other if they’re go­ing to get home—or even sur­vive.

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