Hathin’s sister Arilou is Lost, one of the few people on the island Gullstruck who can separate their five senses from their physical bodies, sending their sight or smell far away. Hathin has spent her entire life guiding, protecting, and caring for her sister, since the Lost as children often have a hard time returning to their bodies. Hathin holds a secret, one that is understood by every member of her persecuted tribe, but which has never been spoken aloud. That secret is about to cause Hathin, Arilou, and the entire village to become embroiled in an island-wide conspiracy, and a tragedy of epic proportions.
This is easily one of the strongest books published this year. The world-building is phenomenal – you could easily believe in the Lace and the Lost and the Ashwalkers, because their world is almost another character in its depth and nuance. Yet at the same time, one never felt that the author was more in love with her world than she was in the story (a criticism you sometimes see lobbed at Tolkien.) The plot was tight, engaging, and, at times, breathless. The characters, too, were three-dimensional for the most part (with the possible exception of the ultimate bad guy.) Even the intermediate tragedies, while not explainable in terms of reason, are reflected all too often in the real world, making the book an interesting discussion starter for several weighty topics.
This is definitely a book to seek out and read. There are some intense scenes that push the book into the Young Adult category, but many younger readers will also enjoy the book.