4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
In The Sparrow by Denna M. Davis, 16-year-old Amanda is expecting a boring summer, spent in Minnesota. However, the moment she arrives at her grandparents’ home they send her through a portal to another world. Lost and confused, she meets Solomon, an impressive, silver man with wings. She doesn’t know if she should flee in terror or run to him for help.
The point of view switches to Solomon who realizes that Amanda is the prophesized savior of Emaji, the Sparrow. It is also foretold that she will be his wife. He is in immediately in love, with a giddy excitement Amanda does not share.
After being acknowledged as the Sparrow by the leaders of Emaji, Amanda is taken through the land, learning the history and culture, to prepare herself for the Journey of Discovery. During this rite of passage, she will transform and receive the powers necessary to defeat Zorn, the evil leader restrained behind a protective wall, where he is gaining strength.
A few chapters give perspectives from other players, including Zorn himself, who Amanda is supposed to kill, and Leah, a girl who is trying to kill Amanda.
The world building created by Davis is very thorough without being tedious. Besides the uniqueness of the land itself, the language, religion, politics and even the food are all well fleshed-out. The connection between earth and Emaji is a little less convincing, but that is a fairly small part of the story.
The characters, including minor ones, are well defined and unique. The colorful descriptions of the people are very entertaining. The citizens of Emaji come in all hues, with zigzags, dots, and fades, on their skin and in their hair. Even Amanda finds herself turning red with horizontal stripes. Some parts of the population have wings and others have gills, as well as matching magical skills that control the air and water.
This novel would be appropriate for upper teens and above. Although the relationship between Amanda and Solomon is kept chaste for the most part, the level of violence inflicted by Zorn on innocent victims would be a poor fit for younger readers.
My favorite part of this book is the contrast between Amanda’s sweet, girl-next-door persona versus the malevolent and destructive nature of Zorn. It is nice to imagine that good can overcome evil. Because this novel is the first book of the Emaji Nation Series we don’t get to see the final result yet.
I would have appreciated more depth to the romance between Amanda and Solomon. While he has worshipped the idea of the Sparrow since his youth, falling in love with the actual flesh and blood girl should have been more challenging. A few more reasons to support why Amanda finds herself falling in love back would have added to the story as well.
All in all, The Sparrow is a well-told tale, and I will rate it a 4 out of 4. After finishing this book, I moved right on to the sequel, as I needed to know what happens next!
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like AKShanmar12's review? Post a comment saying so!