Amber & Dusk
Amber & Dusk
Publisher's Hardcover16.14
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Series: Amber & Dusk Vol. 1   
Annotation: Raised in the Dusklands where her power to create illusions was regarded as a curse, Sylvie has traveled to Coeur d'Or, where the Amber Empress, the cruel Severine, rules in hopes of finding her legacy--but the court is full of dark secrets and deadly intrigues, and Sylvie, now renamed Mirage, must learn to hone her magic, and find her way past the enmity of the empress to claim the place that is hers by right of birth.
Catalog Number: #170479
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 359 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-338-21003-3
ISBN 13: 978-1-338-21003-3
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017051321
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
In the Amber Empire's world of perpetual daylight, beyond which nothing exists but shadows, Sylvie, who has only a necklace to offer any hint of her past, travels to present herself at the palais of Empress Severine, planning to reclaim her birthright among the nobility. But the empress decides Sylvie must earn her place at court, and Sylvie soon becomes Mirage, caught in a dangerous wager to prove that her gift for illusions is a worthy legacy of the aristocracy. As she navigates the intricacies of court life, Mirage quickly learns that the glittering facade of the palais conceals deadly secrets, and that the Amber Empress herself hides an ugly truth. Selene's debut shows much promise, but doesn't quite live up to its potential. The initially intriguing fantasy setting and cast of characters lack the depth and development to be truly satisfying, but Selene's clear storytelling skill marks her as an author to watch.
Horn Book
Feared for her ability to create fantastical illusions, Sylvie travels to Amber City in hopes of finding acceptance in the empress's court among others with similar gifts. Instead, Sylvie discovers illusions of a more human kind in perilous court intrigue, a dangerous patron, and a new name befitting her role as a "fantast": Mirage. Selene's opulent text is lush with figurative and sensory language.
Kirkus Reviews
Parentless Sylvie accomplishes her goal of joining the royal court but learns all that glitters isn't gold.Though raised on the edge of the known world, Sylvie's convinced her magical powers (she can create illusions) mean she's nobility. In the Amber City, the Amber Empress, Severine, indulges Sylvie but demands someone sponsor her, a call answered by the ice-cold, handsome, very blond and pale (his hair and skin color are fetishized) Sunder, one of the richest nobles. His sponsorship turns out to be a cruel jest, but Sylvie eventually learns there's more to him than she guessed. The intensity of energy between Sylvie and Sunder fairly crackles though it's unclear from whence their attraction stems. It is strange that it takes Sylvie so long to see the fractures in the beautiful facade of the court, although she is given lots of information and reason to doubt. Though there are a handful of important secondary characters, none is painted with much depth. Impetuous, obstinate, and obtuse, Sylvie doesn't grow much throughout, which may make her difficult to root for. However, the palace intrigues make this narrative gripping and will have readers eagerly anticipating the conclusion as well as anxious to know what happens next. Characters are described with varying skin tones from light through brown, and there is some diversity in sexual orientation.Riveting but flawed. (Fantasy. 12-18)
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-Abandoned as a baby on the steps of the Temple, Sylvie was raised by the Sisters of the Scion. Sylvie has always longed for more than could ever be had in the Dusklandsthe land of twilight just mere miles away from the mystery and the perpetual darkness of Dominion. And she knows she is destined for more, because she has a magical giftone that allows her to create illusions from thin air. Escaping the Sisters' cloister and traveling to the Amber City where the sun never sets, Slyvie hopes that she has finally found a place to belong. But though the empress Severine gives her the new name of Mirage and allows her into the palais of Coeur d'Or, it is as part of a cruel wager that pits the aristocratic dynasties of Dexter and Sinister against one another. As Mirage works to control her legacy, understand the machinations and intrigues of the court, and find her place in the palais, she begins to learn that the lines between good and evil aren't so clearly defined and that the Amber City is not the home she imagined. The author gives enough details about the characters so readers can fill the gaps, and there are enough surprises as to players' motivations to keep the narrative engaging. The setting of a land with a static sun is attention-grabbing. On the whole, this is a satisfying read. VERDICT Full of riotous color, fantastical locations, and surprising plot twists, this novel is sure to delight fans of Graceling and Caraval . Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (11/1/18)
Horn Book (4/1/19)
Kirkus Reviews (10/1/18)
School Library Journal (10/1/18)
Word Count: 94,552
Reading Level: 6.2
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 6.2 / points: 15.0 / quiz: 199808 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.3 / points:22.0 / quiz:Q76230
Lexile: 800L
I wasn't highborn. Or if I was, whoever sired me disowned me, dumping me in the shadows at the edge of the world like I was worthless. The thought stoked the ember of rage burning always within me, a bright kernel hard and polished as a ruby.

When I opened my hands illusions spilled out, beautiful and terrible and impossible to control.

Trees of kembric, draped in garlands of jewels.

Bouquets of skyflowers.

Bracelets of stars.

I wasn't worthless. I wasn't an aberration, a freak, a monster. I was a legacy.

I ran away from the Temple of the Scion because I knew I deserved better than merely being tolerated. Much as I'd tried to follow in their footsteps when I was young, I had never belonged with the Sisters, and they had certainly never loved me. They had taught me many things: that to laugh too loudly in the presence of the Scion was a sin, and that the bruises and scrapes inflicted by the ignorant village kids were my own fault, and that dreaming of anything outside the dank walls of the temple was too dangerous to be allowed.

They had taught me that being alive was not the same thing as living.

They had tried to stop me from leaving, when I finally fled. They had burned the Imperial Insignia and tried to lock me in my room, panic churning their studied tranquility into chaos. But I'd escaped. Jagged satisfaction tinged with guilt burned through me when I remembered how I'd repaid a lifetime of their indifference.

But I deserved the chance to find where I belonged. To find a world where my gift -- my legacy -- did not frighten superstitious Sisters or enrage cruel children. To find a world forged in sunlight and honed on dreams, as perilous and intoxicating as the colors spilling jewel-bright from my fingertips.

Excerpted from Amber and Dusk by Lyra Selene
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Lyra Selene weaves a lush and thrilling story of sacrifice, secrets, and star-crossed love set in a Parisian-inspired world where the sun never sets in this remarkable YA fantasy debut.

Sylvie has always known she deserves more. Out in the permanent twilight of the Dusklands, her guardians called her power to create illusions a curse. But Sylvie knows it gives her a place in Coeur d'Or, the palais of the Amber Empress and her highborn legacies. So Sylvie sets off toward the Amber City, a glittering jewel under a sun that never sets, to take what is hers.But her hope for a better life is quickly dimmed. The empress invites her in only as part of a wicked wager among her powerful courtiers. Sylvie must assume a new name, Mirage, and begin to navigate secretive social circles and deadly games of intrigue in order to claim her spot. Soon it becomes apparent that nothing is as it appears and no one, including her cruel yet captivating sponsor, Sunder, will answer her questions. As Mirage strives to seize what should be her rightful place, she'll have to consider whether it is worth the price she must pay.An extraordinary, vividly rendered YA debut.

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