Young Adult Literature


by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes


From School Library Journal
Grade 7-10–In this sequel to Hawksong (Delacorte, 2003), in which the characters switch between human and animal form, the war between the snake and bird peoples is over. Zane Cobriana, Diente of the serpiente, and Danica Shardae, Tuuli Thea of the avians, have brought peace with their marriage. Now they divide their time between their countries, encouraging their citizens to coexist and learn more about one another. Difficulties arise when a dangerous emissary comes from the falcons seeking a fugitive hidden in one of their courts. To complicate matters, Danica is pregnant and each domain wants the future heir to be raised in its own tradition. While Hawksong was told by Danica, Snakecharm features Zane's voice. The story is compelling, but the narration is oddly detached. Zane describes his feelings, but the text seems flat, almost as if he is speaking about someone else. This disconnect doesn't hamper the action, however. While some plot elements, like the eventual solution of building a third court between the two lands, are easily guessed, others are unexpected, and there is enough suspense to keep readers interested. This book is a must-have for libraries with fans of Hawksong. Others seeking out shapeshifter stories may want to investigate Patrice Kindl's Owl in Love (Houghton, 1993).–Lisa Prolman, Greenfield Public Library, MA
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