About the book:
It has been 3,000 years since a white mage has been seen upon Rasann.My opinion:
In the midst of a volcanic eruption miles outside of her village, Ember discovers she can see magic and change the appearance of things at will. Against her mother's wishes, she leaves for the mage trials only to be kidnapped before arriving. In trying to escape, she discovers she has inherited her father's secret--a secret that places her in direct conflict with her father's greatest enemy.
At the same time, Kayla is given guardianship of the sapphire flute and told not to play it. The evil mage C'Tan has been searching for it for decades and the sound alone is enough to call her. For the flute to be truly safe, Kayla must find its birthplace in the mountains high above Javak. The girls' paths are set on a collision course...a course that C'Tan is determined to prevent at all costs.
First, I'm going to admit that fantasy is not my favorite genre, but I really enjoyed Karen's novel. I am constantly amazed by people who can write fantasy. I think Karen has an extraordinary talent as a writer, but she also is remarkably creative. The world of Rasann, the mage trials, magic jewelry, and shape shifting characters are only a few of the things that make The Sapphire Flute a page turner you won't want to put down.
Karen has created characters that youth will identify with. Kayla and Ember are each on an individual journey of self-discovery that is full of action and unexpected twists and turns. Although the main characters are girls, Hoover includes enough action that boys will enjoy her book as well.
In the spirit of offering a candid review, I did find that some of the modern language throughout the book was a little jarring and pulled me out of the setting, but it's highly possible that will make young readers love the book even more, because they can identify with it. I also would like to see a little more distinction between Kayla and Ember. Their characters were very similar, so I had to pay close attention to remember which one I was reading about. Luckily, because there are more books to come in the series, I'll have plenty of time to get to know the characters better.
Overall, The Sapphire Flute is a very entertaining read, and I highly recommend it. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book when Ember and Kayla finally cross paths.
The Sapphire flute is available on Amazon and will be sold at national and regional bookstores.
You can read more about the book and Karen at her blog.