Title: The Reader
Series Details: Sea of Ink and Gold #1
Author: Traci Chee
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Release Date: September 13, 2016
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Adventure
Blurb from Goodreads:
Sefia lives her life on the run. After her father is viciously murdered, she flees to the forest with her aunt Nin, the only person left she can trust. They survive in the wilderness together, hunting and stealing what they need, forever looking over their shoulders for new threats. But when Nin is kidnapped, Sefia is suddenly on her own, with no way to know who’s taken Nin or where she is. Her only clue is a strange rectangular object that once belonged to her father left behind, something she comes to realize is a book.
Though reading is unheard of in Sefia’s world, she slowly learns, unearthing the book’s closely guarded secrets, which may be the key to Nin’s disappearance and discovering what really happened the day her father was killed. With no time to lose, and the unexpected help of swashbuckling pirates and an enigmatic stranger, Sefia sets out on a dangerous journey to rescue her aunt, using the book as her guide. In the end, she discovers what the book had been trying to tell her all along: Nothing is as it seems, and the end of her story is only the beginning.
In Kelanna, when they mourn, they tell stories—as if the stories will keep you close to them. Believing that if they tell them often enough, for long enough, you won’t be forgotten. Hoping that the stories will keep you alive—if only in memory.
If I were to describe this book in one word it would be magical, or astounding, or enchanting. Which, of course, is a lot of words. But who can blame me? It was one magically good read! This is exactly what I’d call a busy book because it has a lot of things going on in there. It has magic, perilous adventures, assassins, and heavens, yes, it has pirates too! To make it even more adorable, it comes with excellent writing that will hook you and reel you in, an artful world-building, and well-done characters who are every bit a survivor. Who doesn’t love those?
This is a book. You are the reader. Look closer. There’s magic here.
The Reader centers in a world where people doesn’t know how to read. Those who can are bound by oath to protect the Book with their lives.
Our heroine, Sefia, and her family had been on the run ever since she can remember. Though it wasn’t clear to her who they’re running away from or why. After her father was brutally murdered, Sefia was left with no one but her Aunt Nin, and a strange rectangular object that once belonged to her parents fell into her possession and is now hers to protect. When Nin was taken by the same people who murdered her father, Sefia started her long journey to recue her and alongside it, her journey of becoming a reader.
Sefia isn’t just a tough character. She’s strong-willed, smart, and determined. I love that there’s always hope in her that doesn’t die easily. The way she focused on Nin being alive when it’s more likely that she’s not is really admirable. She’s a very sensible character. It’s hard not to admire her so damn much.
And Archer! Strange, silent, Archer. I’m still not sure how this dangerous and lethal boy managed to win my heart without even saying a word. I guess it’s his sense of loyalty that won me over. He does not speak so he has become this insane puzzle I’m eager to solve. The whole time I was dying to read about his past.
“Home’s what you make it. Could be a ship. Could be what you carry around on your back day after day. Could be family. Or maybe just one person you love more than any other. That’s home.”
Having each other is the best thing that happened to Archer and Sefia. They grew strong as one finds a home in the other. Their growth throughout this book was remarkably impressive. From two scared souls to a duo that dares to beat the odds. Although the romance was kept subtle, it was there, it’s lovely, and it won’t be ignored. I promise.
Another thing that got me rooted in this book is the fact that no one gets a boring part. Every character have their own brand of interesting. Captain Reed and his crew aboard the Current, Lon and Mareah, even Tanin, they are all part of what makes this book grand. At first I have no idea how these characters were connected because it felt like they’re all living in a separate story. But the moment I figured it out everything made perfect sense and it was genius!
This book is a treasure chest. It has so much to offer: friendship, loyalty, love, hope, courage, even violence and bloodshed. It will take up a lot of your time and it will claim your undivided attention. But with all those surprises hidden in the corner and all those wonders just waiting to be revealed, it would be worth it.
I really enjoyed this book a bunch. YA fantasy is like home to me. It’s the genre that I always get back to. If you’re like me then your name is in this book.