The Reader

The Reader

Book - 2017
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Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone, none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin s been taken, or if she s even alive. The only clue to both her aunt's disappearance and her father's murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed and punish the people responsible.
Publisher: New York, NY : Speak, 2017
Edition: Paperback edition
ISBN: 9780147518057
Branch Call Number: YA CHEE
Characteristics: 442, 4 pages : map ; 21 cm


From Library Staff

The day her parents were murdered, Sefia fled to the forest with her aunt Nin, and a strange rectangular object she learns is a book. Now Nin has been kidnapped, and the mute boy Sefia saves from a life of cage fighting is teaching her to read, while she keeps them alive and discovers the secrets... Read More »

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Aug 09, 2019

This book contains a well-developed world and lore, three-dimensional characters, and an engaging plot. There's also a secret riddle! On the bottom of random pages there is a word or phrase that all comes together in the end. It added a mysterious element to it and was a fun read overall!

Jul 08, 2019

A pretty good fantasy read. What I loved most was stumbling upon the hidden messages within the pages of the book itself. It adds to the tone of the overall book. There are a handful of them and I believe the next book will also contain these Easter eggs. So much fun! The world building is pretty neat and the characters are interesting. I'd love to know what happens next! #PACL2019

Mar 05, 2019

I found The Reader a daring and ambitious book in terms of the number of perspectives and the large amount of references included in the novel. It isn't often we see trained assassin's, pickpockets, and pirates in the same work.

SnoIsleLib_MarissaB Sep 06, 2018

This debut fantasy novel has a large set of diverse characters ranging from swashbuckling pirates to illuminati-like magicians. The intricately plotted world-building is full of hidden magic. Danger lurks around every corner as the point of view shifts between characters.

Dec 13, 2017

wow..SPOILERS in the comments!
this series is wonderful...good for teens or adults (i'm older & loved it).
it's got a great bunch of powerful female characters
highly recommended

JCLChrisK Aug 10, 2017

An intricately crafted book set in an elaborately crafted world. There is more at play here than readers can yet know, even after the end. There is still much to be discovered.

That is the experience of the book's characters, as well. Protagonist Sefia, whose parents--and now aunt--were pursued and killed over an object she carries with her, knows none of the why behind her story. Isolated and alone, she determines to find out. Simultaneously pursued and pursuing, she gradually learns the item is a book. Hers is a world without the written word, except for this most valuable treasure revered by a secret society of "readers." It's a treasure they will do anything to recover. The Book is magical and Readers can do magic. As Sefia teaches herself things the society passes down--all while in the midst of a very bloody adventure--she begins to meet characters she's read about in the book and even discovers that she herself is in it. She doesn't know what that means, so she remains fixed on her goal of avenging those she's lost.

Sefia's story is intertwined with those of others (swashbuckling pirates, for one) and she is accompanied by a peer she rescued from a life of enslaved pit fighting who has an unnatural knack for killing. She's a wilderness survivalist, a tracker, a lock-picking thief, and, it seems, a magical "reader." She learns and grows and changes as she goes. She has quite the tale.

0Charlie Mar 22, 2017

This story sneaks up on you. You come to care about the main characters as they (and the reader) struggle to understand the world they have entered. I appreciate how "reading" is given such magical qualities. I look forward to reading the next book in the series "Sea of Ink and Gold". Recommended.

multcolib_susannel Jan 23, 2017

When Sefia sets off to avenge the violence done to her foster mom, little does she know that it will involve learning the lost art of making sense of symbols on a page, and rescuing a boy who doesn't talk.

Dec 22, 2016

This book is really different, and I liked that. It's set in a world where no one (except a certain select secret few) can read. Sefia discovers not only how to read, but she realizes she can use magic, and that the world is a lot different than she thought. I was captivated by the plot. It's very interesting and every time I picked up the book, I had a hard time putting it down. However, some parts confused me, although I'm hoping the next two books will clear some of it up. There is a lot going on in this book - boys that are stolen and made to fight each other to the death, a secret society of magic-users and readers, a girl who learns to fight for herself, pirates and outlaws, guns and swords. I recommend it to anyone who likes YA fantasy and is looking for something new and exciting.


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JCLChrisK Aug 10, 2017

This is a book,
and a book is a world,
and words are the seeds
in which meanings are curled.

Pages of oceans
and margins of land
are civilizations you hold
in the palm of your hand.

But look at your world
and your life seems to shrink
to cities of paper
and seas made of ink.

Do you know who you are,
or have you been misled?
Are you the Reader,
or are you the Read?


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