3.66 (3,719 ratings by Goodreads)
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A compelling and inventive novel set in a world where science and magic are at odds, by Robin McKinley, the Newbery-winning author of "The Hero and the Crown" and "The Blue Sword," as well as the classic titles "Beauty," "Chalice," "Spindle's End, ""Pegasus" and "Sunshine"
Maggie knows something's off about Val, her mom's new husband. Val is from Oldworld, where they still use magic, and he won't have any tech in his office-shed behind the house. But--more importantly--what are the huge, horrible, jagged, jumpy shadows following him around? Magic is illegal in Newworld, which is all about science. The magic-carrying gene was disabled two generations ago, back when Maggie's great-grandmother was a notable magician. But that was a long time ago.
Then Maggie meets Casimir, the most beautiful boy she has ever seen. He's from Oldworld too--and he's heard of Maggie's stepfather, and has a guess about Val's shadows. Maggie doesn't want to know . . . until earth-shattering events force her to depend on Val and his shadows. And perhaps on her own heritage.
In this dangerously unstable world, neither science nor magic has the necessary answers, but a truce between them is impossible. And although the two are supposed to be incompatible, Maggie's discovering the world will need both to survive.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 356 pages
  • 162 x 235 x 32mm | 572g
  • United States
  • English
  • 0399165797
  • 9780399165795
  • 256,060

Review quote

"A winning combination of fast action, romance, likable characters and inventive language makes this YA novel hard to put down."--Shelf Awareness
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About Robin McKinley

Robin McKinley ( and has won various awards and citations for her writing, including the Newbery Medal for "The Hero and the Crown" and a Newbery Honor for "The Blue Sword," both about the magical country of Damar. Her other books include "Chalice"; "Dragonhaven"; two novel-length retellings of the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, "Beauty" and "Rose Daughter"; "Deerskin," which was inspired by the Perrault fairy tale Donkeyskin; a retelling of the Robin Hood legend, "The Outlaws of Sherwood"; "Spindle's End," a retelling of Sleeping Beauty; and two volumes of Tales of Elemental Spirits, "Fire" and "Water" (with Peter Dickinson). Her "Imaginary Lands" won the World Fantasy Award for best anthology and her novel "Sunshine" won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature.
Robin lives in England with her husband, the English writer Peter Dickinson, two hellhounds, a hellterror, an 1897 Steinway upright, and too many rosebushes.
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Rating details

3,719 ratings
3.66 out of 5 stars
5 22% (816)
4 38% (1,404)
3 28% (1,028)
2 10% (364)
1 3% (107)
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