Hornbook Weighs In on DARKBEAST!
Every once in a while, you read a book review, and it becomes apparent that the reviewer just *got* the book — understood it in her bones. I’m thrilled to say that Hornbook proved to be just that reader for DARKBEAST!
Here’s what they have to say:
In Duodecia, every child under the age of twelve has a darkbeast, a creature who takes the child’s faults—anger, jealousy, pride—on themselves. Most children can’t stand the toads, snakes, bats, etc., that relieve them of their negative emotions, but Keara loves her raven Caw so much so that she refuses to kill him on her twelfth name day, as custom demands. In fear of the Primate’s Inquisitors, she runs away with Caw and joins the Travelers, a band of migratory thespians. Keara passionately wants to help them win the year-end dramatic competition performed for the Primate, but will the Inquisitors find out about her and Caw first? Carefully chosen images and rich language set the tone for Keyes’s unique society, ably sketched through references to familiar customs and proprieties whose meaning can be intuited by readers. Choices made by the well-rounded characters credibly advance the story’s action, and a surprise revelation at the end opens the door to sequels. In addition, questions raised by the concept of darkbeasts—what role do our dark sides play in creativity? how much of our childhood should we be asked to sacrifice in order to grow up?—will leave readers mulling thoughtfully long after the book is closed.
Mindy, so eager to share this book with everyone!