Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Teen for the opportunity to read and review Island of Exiles by Erica Cameron! The story begins with a group of desert dwellers racing home to beat the storm that is heading their way. Once home, the main character, Khya, is worrying about her sixteen year old brother, Yorri, who will be facing the Herynshi ritual that will decide whether he has magic or not. So far, Yorri hasn’t shown any signs of magic. The dusty, wind blown world that the author creates with her picturesque words feels real while reading the story. I could almost hear the wind and see the long tunics blowing around the characters’ forms. Tessen keeps trying to get Khya to dance with him and she keeps ignoring him because she’s annoyed at how nonchalant he acts about his skills and strength, but I see Tessen as being humble about them. Yorri finally shows magical skills and is honored, but soon afterward he dies. There is a mystery surrounding his death and it takes a group of trustworthy friends to help solve it. My favorite line in the book, which Khya says to Tessen, “Your determination to get into trouble with me is odd.” Made me chuckle! The group finds so much more waiting for them outside of their community than they could have ever dreamed. My rating – 4 stars for this fantasy fiction set in a dangerous desert and full of charismatic characters!