- Published: 2016
- Number of pages: 445 pages
- Format: Epub
- File Size: 1.95 MB
- Authors: Traci Chee
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.
With overlapping stories of swashbuckling pirates and merciless assassins, The Reader is a brilliantly told adventure from an extraordinary new talent.
Review Praise for The Reader:An ALA Top Ten Best Fiction Pick – 2017A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year – 2016 Finalist for the 2016 Kirkus Prize A Kirkus Best Book of the Year – 2016 An NPR Best Book of the Year – 2016 A Buzzfeed Best YA Book of the Year – 2016 A Bustle Best YA Book of the Year – 2016 Minnesota Public Radio Best YA Book of the Year – 2016 A Barnes & Noble Best Book of the Year – 2016A 2016 Nerdy Book Club Award WinnerAn ABA Indies Choice Honor Book – 2017“I was spellbound from the first page. An utterly transportive tale of swashbucklers and sharpshooters, masterfully written. Traci Chee has penned a beautiful novel about the power of story, complete with a fantastic cast of characters and an expertly rendered fantasy landscape. This is a book you will not soon forget.”—Renée Ahdieh, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn★ “Deftly rendered in beautiful prose, narrated through three shifting time lines woven into an interconnected history of duty, honor, and magic. . . . This is a must-have for all those who value a good read with genuine character growth, mystery, unique world-building, adventure, unyielding bonds of loyalty, and pirates. . . . A fresh, diverse fantasy; highly recommended for fans of Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart and female-powered adventures.”—School Library Journal, starred review★ “Commanding storytelling and vivid details, particularly of the magical process of reading, bring the story to life… the first of what promises to be an enchanting series.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review★ “Chee’s debut is an intricate, multilayered reading experience… An exploration of self-determination and the magic of the written word, Sefia’s story is an absorbing introduction to the Sea of Ink and Gold series.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review ★ “With evocative language, fascinating world building, multifaceted characters, and a compelling plot, this is a series fantasy lovers will want to sink their teeth into.”—Booklist, starred review“Most world-building shies away from tackling the question of literacy within fantasy cultures, but here it serves as the beating meta-heart.”—NPR “Those looking for complex fantasy will enjoy and look for the next installment.”—School Library Connection From School Library Journal Gr 8 Up—”Two curves for her parents. A curve for Nin. The straight line for herself. The circle for what she had to do.” This is the seal branded onto the book that was passed down to Sefia by her parents right before they were murdered by an assassin whose blade reeked of copper. Under the guidance of Aunt Nin, who is a thief, the teen learns to hide and hunt before her mentor is brutally torn away. In solitude, Sefia vows to rescue Nin. She is eventually joined by a strange, mute, and brutalized boy she saves. In a world where books and the very act of reading are limited to a select, powerful few, Sefia begins to understand the weight of her heirloom and what might transpire should it fall into the wrong hands. Sefia digs deep within herself and slowly begins to unlock the power of the written word. This work is deftly rendered in beautiful prose, narrated through three shifting time lines woven into an interconnected history of duty, honor, and magic. Chee provokes some resounding questions: What is there left to be remembered of us after death, and what must we do to be worthy of remembrance? This is a must-have for all those who value a good read with genuine character growth, mystery, unique world-building, adventure, unyielding bonds of loyalty, and pirates. Savvy teens will notice a message scattered through the page numbers. VERDICT A fresh, diverse fantasy; highly recommended for fans of Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart and female-powered adventures.—Zeying Wang, School Library Journal –This text refers to the hardcover edition.
Reviews from Amazon users, collected at the time the book is getting published on UniedVRG. It can be related to shiping or paper quality instead of the book content:
⭐ This book absolutely blew me away from the first line. It draws you in so well, it feels like you’re a part of the story (and you kind of are!) I don’t want to give too much away, since I really think it’s best to go in knowing as little as possible; so please bear with my extremely vague review. (Maybe I’ll do a book talk soon so I can talk in detail?)I really loved how we got to see through multiple POVs that were seemingly unconnected until the end! The way everything tied together made so much sense and I liked that it wasn’t something that was easy to figure out sooner.The characters and world building in this book are absolutely amazing! Everyone is well fleshed out and it really feels like you’re living through them. When you can feel the same emotions as characters and envision the world clearly, how could you not fall in love?There is also TONS of diversity as well as strong female characters; what more could you want?For some reason I thought the little extras and hints were printing errors in the beginning and I honestly feel so ridiculous for thinking it, haha. First I saw a fingerprint on one of the pages and was like, “wow, that’s a really big error for a Penguin book.” Then, about 100 pages in, I noticed the words on the bottom of the pages and finally realized that I was missing out on all kinds of clues and hints.I did some reasearch and found that the author said there were 10+ hidden messages! I am not perceptive enough to find them all, even after going through the book twice; so if anyone else has found more than two please tell me. I need to know!Overall, I really loved this book. It’s been a while since a book completely blew me away and this really did it for me. I’m absolutely amazed that this is a debut novel, since it was written so well! Also, the books are absolutely gorgeous!
⭐ Let me start off by saying I absolutely love this book! I had been hearing so many good things about it on Twitter, that I finally bought a copy so I could read. When I got approved for The Speaker on Edelweiss (review coming!), I dove into this book. I was not disappointed. From the first page, I was so intrigued by this world where books were magic! Sefia is an amazing character to follow. She’s had so many bad things happen to her, that you can’t help but root for her. Along the way we meet characters like Captain Cannek Reed (my new book boyfriend!), Archer, and the rest of the crew of the Current of Faith. If you like adventure, a great library, books that are magical, and a bit of mystery this is the book for you! I can’t go into too much detail without spoiling anything, so I’ll stop here. Pick up this book!
⭐ A friend of over 50 years insisted that I plunge into Traci Chee’s work. When I mentioned it to my niece who’s a high school English teacher, enthusiastically agreed with him… so I did a test run with The Reader. I was not at all sure at first because the book ignores chronological time lines and/or conventional sequencing. About 1/3 of the way in, I found myself making time to get to and thru the book. I whipped thru the rest of it and immediately plunged into The Speaker, the next book in the trilogy. Be warned that Chee is brutal in the treatment of her characters and unsparing in her description of violence and its results. It is also a YA novel so there’s a serious measure of post-adolescent longing and misunderstanding, but it’s handled in a way that doesn’t provoke eye-rolling in adults.
⭐ There are not enough words to describe the beauty of this books. “Words have power”, and this is definitely the book to prove that words carry magic and power with them. That those who can read words, and those who can wield words, are just as powerful those go wield blades and guns. Perhaps even more so. Words contain knowledge, and knowledge comes from the past, but knowledge is what guides us to the future. Yes this readers in this book have a bit of magic help, but in reality it is to show those who are not the die hard readers what it is like when a true reader, a true lover of words experiences when they read. To see the the stories within the stories, to see the past and the future…to have knowledge,but within the knowledge know that love is the only story worth telling…the one story that weaves through all the other stories. Tracie Chee has written an opus of a love story, the greatest of stories to be to told, and she has written it for the readers. Perhaps the pen is mightier than the sword after all.
⭐ I read a lot. I read across all genres and (sadly) a huge range of quality gradients. Track Chee is special. If you are looking for a good writer who has the gift of writing in a way that brings fantasy alive, Chee will not disappoint.Perfection? A dream come true? A readers ideal writer? Nope – none of that.What she is is a writer working hard at constantly challenging herself to find ever better ways to improve at what she does.What she is is inspiring. Reading her writing reminds me of Steve Prefontaine and what he said he was trying to do as a runner: “some people create with words, or with music, or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run. I like to make people stop and say, ‘I’ve never seen anyone run like that before’. It’s more than just a race, it’s style. It’s doing something better than everyone else. It’s being creative.”Traci Chee is inspiringly creative. Her writing is, to me, as wonderful an example of creativity in the written word as I have seen in a very long time.Read her. Buy her. Encourage her. She is an example of what working to perfect your craft and make something beautiful is all about, and beauty is something our world always needs more of.
⭐ I was completely captivated by this debut fantasy novel. A world where there are no books and no one that knows how to read… the idea completely intrigued me. But wait! Books and reading DO EXIST — at least if you are part of the secret hidden society. Then you know all about these mysterious things that hold such immense power in the world. There were so many characters revealed in this story… but it added to, not distracted from the story. In Sephia’s interactions in the world at large, it only makes sense that she would encounter so many different people while she goes about her adventures. I truly enjoyed the way the story is told with excerpts from The Book intertwined. I can’t wait to read the next!
⭐ I absolutely loved this book. Multiple stories interwoven to a climatic end, bought the next two books as well and diving in. This author is just brilliant. The world building, plots, magic systems, characterssssss. I ship Archer and Sefia, love the pirate crew. I’m so happy I bought all 3 without listening to some reviews that weren’t nice. I’d buy the book over and over.
⭐ For a long time, Sefia has only had her aunt, Nin. Ever since her father was murdered, they have been on the run, and Nin teaches Sefia to live in the wilderness. When Nin is suddenly taken, Sefia is determined to save her, even if she has no idea where to start. With the help of a mystery object she learns is a book, a scarred boy with a dark past, and her fierce will, Sefia journeys to save her aunt, discover the secret of her family, and learn to read in a society that is illiterate.Traci Chee’s THE READER is a mesmerizing fantasy about the power of words, stories, families, and friendships. Sefia is easily lovable, kind, and strong, and her story is anything but easy. She carries the grief of losing her family around with her and often feels that she could have prevented Nin being taken in the first place. Readers will see something of themselves in her as she discovers more about written words and the book she carries. Throughout the story, there are brief excerpts from the book she carries around, allowing you to really connect with what Sefia is experiencing.Though romance is a small portion of the book, it demands to be discussed. Sefia and Archer have the sweetest slow-burn/friendship turned to love relationship I have ever read. There are some slow romances where you want to characters to kiss at every turn, and there are some, even more rare for me because I love kissing scenes, where you would happily revel in any scene with both of them, whether they’re just hunting for food or sitting silently, enjoying each other’s company. Sefia and Archer are both heartbreakingly vulnerable, and the way they learn to lean on each other is nearly tear-inducing.A book about a book, a young woman learning to read while saving her remaining family, a boy whose hands are tough but heart is soft, and an endearing and existential pirate crew come together to make the fantastic experience that is THE READER.
⭐ I wasn’t sure what to expect as I started reading this book. The more I read, the more I couldn’t put it down. Enjoy your journey as you read.
⭐ I have been waiting so long for this book and I was worried that it would turn out to be disappointing, or not love up to my expectations. I devoured it and it surpassed my expectations not so much because of the plot but because of the writing and the main character. I cant wait for the sequel.
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