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The Shard by Jane Shand

    Darkness is falling…

    The children of the land are devoured by it. 

    Slowly every child in possession of magic is being turned into something twisted and horrid – a Darkling. Nobody knows how to stop it. 

    Nalani has a Gift that can help the Darklings. It beckons her to do its bidding for her. She grew up hating the magic inside of her; it must have been the reason her father left her. It certainly was the reason she didn’t get along with her mother. When the Gift suddenly demands that she journey to the mainland, she sees it as a chance for escape, for a new life and purpose. With both hands, she grabs for it.

    Except as she settles into her new life in the city of Karas, she soon discovers more questions than answers. The history of the city and some of the darker secrets are coming into light.

    With the help of those she encounters including a Darkling boy and Luca, a young man whose research seems to hold the key, Nalani sets out on a path that will forever change her life. But will she figure out all of the answers, including ones shadowed inside herself, before the darkness overpowers them all. 

    With its young adult protagonist and themes of self-discovery, coming of age, and setting out on one’s own, this novel should appeal to adults and YA alike.

    My review:

    Let me start by saying: I thoroughly enjoyed this book! This is an incredibly well written beautiful, absolutely amazing story. It is about acceptance and coming to terms with the talents – gifts – you are granted. It is about friendship and trust.

    The writing style truly brings you into the story and plays with your imagination. I had such vivid images of the city and the surroundings I almost forgot I was lounging in my reading chair and indeed not climbing the roofs myself!

    I would love to argue with anyone daring to say it had a slow start, I think it had exactly the beginning it needed. We get to know Nalani, her character and what drives her. The beginning chapters are essential to the whole story and I wouldn’t take anything away from them to fasten the pace… The pace doesn’t need to be fastened! 

    The descriptions, the actions, the dialogues – everything pulled me in and engulfed me.

    I love Nalani’s character. Strong, independent black girl discovering her destiny! I loved the way her character was subtly, carefully and lovingly brought into awareness. I loved her growth. There’s not much I didn’t like about her. Honesty, she is the perfect protagonist playing a perfect role in a perfect story.

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