Sherryl Jordan Secret Sacrament

ISBN 13: 9780689860454

Secret Sacrament

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9780689860454: Secret Sacrament

Terrified, a young Navaron child watches helplessly from his hiding place as a young Shinili woman is brutally beaten and abused by a group of drunken Navaron men. Too frightened to answer her pleas for help, the child runs away, taking with him the sacred bone carving of the Shinili people. In doing so, he forever binds himself and his fate to them. Gabriel is no ordinary boy. His life is now marked out for greatness by powers beyond his understanding...He's never wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and become a wealthy, sea-faring merchant, celebrated by all in the ancient empire of Navora - but cold and distant to his family. Haunted by a terrible childhood secret Gabriel spurns family tradition and duties as the eldest son, to pursue a life of helping others. Derived from a deep sense of guilt and strange mysterious visions Gabriel knows that he is destined to become a healer, with the power to decipher dreams, no matter what his overbearing family argues. But against his will, Gabriel finds himself caught up in the power struggles of a corrupt Empire, endangering all that he loves. His decision to hold true to his destiny is one that will cost him dearly, and one that threatens to tear apart the entire Navoran Empire - but which might just end up saving an entire people.

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Review:

In this luminous fantasy, Sherryl Jordan surpasses her award-winning novel The Raging Quiet with a vividly realized story that centers on a young healer, the evocatively named Gabriel, as he moves inexorably toward fulfilling his destiny with a heroic sacrifice. Born in the urban city-state of Navora, Gabriel is also strongly drawn to the tribal society of Shinali that survives on the plain outside the city gates. He is haunted by a secret guilt, a moment from his childhood when out of fear he failed to help a dying Shinali woman. The richly detailed narrative moves quietly through Gabriel's training at the Citadel, where he learns the mystical arts of healing mind and body, and then gains in pace and excitement as he attracts the unwelcome attention of the sly and unstable Empress and is drawn irresistibly into the intrigue that surrounds her dependence on the malevolent counselor Jaganath. When Gabriel must flee the city, he retreats to the simple life of the plains people and his love for the strong and serene Ashila. But when the Navorans imprison the Shinali and then plan to destroy them, Gabriel must find the courage to make the sacrifice that will save both their nations. Themes of forgiveness and redemption, echoes of the Nazi Holocaust and the genocide of Native Americans, as well as a radiant love story illuminate this beautiful and intelligent novel for fantasy readers of all ages. (Ages 12 and older) --Patty Campbell

About the Author:

Sherryl Jordan is a prominent New Zealand author. She has worked with deaf children for a number of years and has always loved sign language. Sherryl Jordan extensively travelled the British Isles to research The Raging Quiet; she lives in Tauranga, New Zealand.

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Jordan, Sherryl
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