- Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody
ISBN 978-0-373-21243-9 $19.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 8–12
In the traveling city of Gomorrah, a carnival of entertainment and debauchery, sixteen-year-old Sorina has the best freak show around; her performers—a spineless acrobat, a giant treeman, a fire-breathing baby, etc.—are illusions, creations of her mind that she has magicked into solid form. They’re also her surrogate family, which is why she is devastated when one of them is found murdered; she wonders too how the killer went about ending the life of a being that technically didn’t have one and if more death lies ahead. Her search for the murderer leads her into Gomorrah’s dark corners (and there are plenty) and the city’s bizarre connection to the political rivalries of surrounding kingdoms. Gomorrah makes for a fantastic, magical setting, a seedy mix of titillation and sin that somehow makes a home for Sorina, even as she’s occasionally bewildered by its more nefarious revelries. The pace here is impeccable, as the tension rises with the body count and Sorina faces increasingly dangerous obstacles as she gets closer to the truth. The truth is a doozy; even if readers spotted the culprit early on, they’ll be shocked by the killer’s accompanying revelation and what it means for Sorina’s relationships to her illusions. Readers who enjoyed their whirl in Garber’s Caraval (BCCB 1/17) will want to get in line for entry to Gomorrah.