- Winner, Ann Connor Brimer Award winner
- Commended, OLA Best Bets
- Short-listed, SYRCA Snow Willow nominee
- Commended, CCBC Best Books
- Commended, VOYA Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror List
- Long-listed, YALSA Quick Picks
After his guardian dies, Maurey is reduced from student to unpaid servant at his grammar school and bullied because of his black hair and eyes, which make him look as if he is related to the sorcerers who once inhabited the island. When it is discovered that Maurey is indeed a descendent of one of those sorcerers, or Nightwalkers, he is sentenced to be burned alive. He and his young rescuer flee for the Nightwalkers' hidden kingdom. Any reader who enjoys otherworld fantasy, or just a good adventure story, will not be able to put this book down.close this panel
"Wait!" Chancellor Holden cried, and fast as a striking hawk he swooped forward and dragged me up by the front of my tunic.
Even as he swooped, I realized that in the fall, my mother's rings had tumbled out the neck of my shirt. I clutched at them, but too late. Chancellor Holden jerked the heavy chain over my head and held it swinging before them all.
"Johansen creates an elaborate world populated by complex characters...Readers will look forward to the sequel."
"The fast-paced adventure, compelling characters and conflicts that make sense will reward readers of this fully-realized fantasy."
"The vaguely medieval fantasy past gives [Johansen] a chance to use both her background as a medieval scholar and her fascination with The Lord of the Rings."
"All I can say is WOW!...Amazingly well-developed and imagined...intelligent and witty."
"A fast-paced adventure story...The main characters are multi-dimensional and should appeal to readers of either gender. Highly recommended."
"The book is fantastical - set in medievalish worlds, with magical beings - but it is also quite realistic in the telling. Characters use magic as a tool, but they are forced to struggle and work for their goals, and magic does not become a prop to them. I really enjoyed this book."
"Johansen has created a world and a cast of characters that I thoroughly enjoyed journeying with."
"Filled with pathos, humor and plenty of action, this should satisfy most YA fantasy readers...Sure to bring requests for the next in the series."
"Fantasy fans who favor rich settings are likely to find [the main character's] quest through dangerous landscapes...compelling."