This is a middle grade tale that is as smart as it is entertaining. It combines magic and the more grounded theme of education in a way that encourages us to take some of the content quite seriously and ponder its meaning, while also allowing us to be enchanted by the elements that belong more to the fantasy world than our everyday one.
Nura is a determined young lady. While most kids at the mine are mining without really thinking they could ever find the great treasure desired by their master, the ‘‘mica,’’ Nura fully believes that she is capable of such a big endeavour. Unfortunately, her ambition caused quite an accident at the mine, and a few of the kids have gone missing. Though her ambition initially led her to cause damage, this time she is hoping it will help her find the missing kids—and her best friend.
Nura’s journey leads her to enter a treacherous world full of jinn, who do not have her best interest at heart. She quickly stumbles too deep into the world, so deep she might never get out of it again. But Nura has a fire in her that just won’t quit. It was really good to be acquainted with someone so goal-oriented and who tries to use her powerful energy for good actions. I feel like there are two types of fire—the one lit from anger (destructive) and the one lit from a desire to see change come about (productive). Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between the two or they intertwine, but though Nura makes some mistakes along the way, she learns to direct her energy towards the right things and the right people. It can be hard for her to know who to trust, especially after being betrayed badly, but sometimes you have to have faith.
I really enjoyed my experience reading this book. It is fast-paced, with quite a bit of action, as well as full of memorable characters whose personalities I could get a sense of. My only complaint is regarding the solution that Nura finds to her problem, which felt quite predictable. Otherwise, this is quite a smart tale with impactful scenes that I quite recommend!
Thank you Hachette Book Group Canada for the copy in exchange for a review! On sale July 5th.