Imatge de l'autor

Anne Ursu

Autor/a de Breadcrumbs

15+ obres 4,113 Membres 210 Ressenyes 4 preferits

Sobre l'autor

Crèdit de la imatge:


Obres de Anne Ursu

Breadcrumbs (2011) 1,233 exemplars
The Shadow Thieves (2006) 989 exemplars
The Real Boy (2013) 490 exemplars
The Siren Song (2007) 299 exemplars
Spilling Clarence (2003) 293 exemplars
The Immortal Fire (2009) 186 exemplars
The Lost Girl (2019) 167 exemplars
The Disapparation of James (2003) 159 exemplars
Not Quite a Ghost (2024) 48 exemplars

Obres associades

The Future Dictionary of America (2004) — Col·laborador — 630 exemplars
Guys Read: The Sports Pages (2012) — Col·laborador — 203 exemplars
Swashbuckling Fantasy: 10 Thrilling Tales of Magical Adventure (2006) — Col·laborador — 79 exemplars
Riding Shotgun: Women Write About Their Mothers (2008) — Col·laborador — 24 exemplars
Politically Inspired (2003) — Col·laborador — 21 exemplars


Coneixement comú

Nom normalitzat
Ursu, Anne
Data de naixement
20th Century
Llocs de residència
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Premis i honors
Minnesota New Voice Book Award (2003)



More of a 3.5. A bit of a mixed bag. Some--Maul, Obi-Wan, Ahsoka--were really great. Others just felt like a rehash of the episode.
Library_Guard | Hi ha 4 ressenyes més | Jun 17, 2024 |
{stand-alone; fantasy, magic, children’s, young adult}(2021)

Sorcerers have an important job in Illyria - to protect the country against magical monsters, witches from the neighbouring country of Kel and the Dread - a strange purple cloud that can kill everyone in a village overnight. Everyone in their village has always known that Marya's brother, Luka, is destined to be a sorcerer and now the Council for the Magical Protection of Illyria has sent a letter to let his parents know that they're going to come and test him. But on the day of his evaluation a prank he pulled on Marya (in return for one that she pulled on him) goes wrong and Anton the goat - despite Marya's best efforts to stop him - causes a disaster which results in a letter coming to inform their parents that Marya has been invited (attendance is compulsory) to attend the Dragomir Academy for Troubled Girls where she will stay for the next six years, until she is eighteen.

When she gets there she discovers that she will receive an education including being taught to read (though she has already been taught by a friend) but there are lots of rules and regulations that the girls are expected to follow in the hopes of getting a good placement such as looking after a sorcerer's library. Like a lot of the other girls Marya has difficulty repressing her 'troublesome' instincts so they are often punished, as a whole class, if just one girl breaks the rules.

She feels that there is a mystery behind the creation of the Academy so she and her friend Elana set out to discover what it is. Gradually the girls realise that not all is as it seems at Dragomir - nor in the kingdom of Illyria - and maybe they should be questioning more and not just accepting what they're told.

I like the cover of the book, with the clouds of the Dread swirling around the towers of the school. (Oddly, though when Marya arrives she notices turrets sprouting off towers growing out of the school building, we don't see them on the inside, which is a shame.) And, may I say, I'm very glad that there is a map of the continent at the beginning of the book. (I wondered if the place names 'Torak' and 'Kel' were a nod to The Belgariad.)

I thought this was quite a gentle story though I did get wrapped up in the adventure. At one point, I admit, when Marya had just decoded the history of the Academy and decided that people in authority (the people who are hiding things from the girls) needed to know, so she took it to the headmaster - I couldn't look; I had to put the book down in the middle of a chapter. But then I was desperate to find out what happened (reader's dilemma) and of course I came back to it. I think, though, it is perfectly gauged for its target audience (the protagonist is around twelve years old) and should get them thinking. Part of the message throughout this book is that girls and women are treated as secondary to boys and men, who are automatically assumed to be superior in Illyria. Ursu keeps showing us this without telling us outright but lets the reader work it out:
That is not to say that girls and women did not matter to Illyria: behind every great tapestry was a woman who wove it, just as behind every great sorcerer was a wife to tend to his domestic affairs, a governess to teach his children, a cook to warm his gullet, a maid to keep his fires lit.

And behind every boy who dreamed of being a sorcerer was a mother who raised him to be brave, noble, and kind. And perhaps that boy even had a sister, who, right before the Council for the Magical Protection of Illyria finally visited his humble home to test him for a magical gift, made sure the chicken coop was spotless.
This is right at the beginning of chapter one, and introduces us to Marya as she's making sure that the chicken coop is spotless for the Council's visit. Though the focus is Marya's story, I liked the fact that she came to realise that behind her fighting with her brother there is genuine love and comradeship.

I could have been outraged at the difference in the way boys and girls were treated and brought up and the lengths that the men in power in Illyria go to to keep it that way in spite of the suffering it results in - but I think Ursu takes it a step further; she makes us think about why someone would be unwittingly complicit in being made to feel devalued and maybe, by doing so, gives young readers a chance to realise, if it is happening to them, that they can change it.

Everything is wrapped up satisfactorily (though the ending may have been a tad rushed - I was worried for a bit that I would have to look for a sequel to finish the story). I like the last lines of the book. I don't think it's a spoiler but, just in case, I'll hide them:
"We can do this," she said, eyes shining.

The other girls were grinning at her. They could do this. The Guild was still in power, the king still sat on his throne, but they could still remake the world.

There was more, so much more. ... They needed to tell their story in as many ways as they could. They needed to send letters, tell stories, weave, and embroider. They needed to tell the truth, to record it in a way that people would keep it. They were the troubled girls of Dragomir Academy - breaking, but never broken and they had stories to tell.

(April 2024)
… (més)
humouress | Hi ha 14 ressenyes més | Apr 17, 2024 |
Ghosts and girlhood and chronic illness.
mutantpudding | Hi ha 10 ressenyes més | Mar 10, 2024 |
*well-written book with a captivating storyline
*easy to read and kept my interest from cover to cover
*great character development
*highly recommend
BridgetteS | Hi ha 10 ressenyes més | Mar 9, 2024 |



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