The Reader by Traci Chee
The Reader by Traci Chee is a fantastic start to the new series, Sea of Ink and Gold. Sefia, the main character who has been taught survival since before she could talk, flees with her aunt Nin after her parents are cruelly murdered. After Nin is kidnapped, Sefia must do everything in her power to find her and avenge the deaths of her family. Despite living in a society where she and everyone else are illiterate, she finds a strange object - a book. She learns to use the book to help and guide herself and the mysterious stranger she rescued from equally mysterious and dark circumstances.
There is never, ever a dull moment in this book. It sets a fast pace, without missing anything that the reader needs to know. Each character has an interesting backstory that intertwines with others to create the stunning story of this novel. The overlapping stories can get confusing, but somewhere near the end they all suddenly snap into place, like finishing a puzzle and being able to see the whole picture. Reading this book was just that satisfactory, and I loved it.Traci Chee wrote Consonant Sounds for Fish Songs, a collection of short stories. The Reader is a YA fantasy novel, complete with assassins and pirates. Those who enjoy this book would also like The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh, The Wish Granter by C. J. Redwine, and Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch.