The Reader

The Reader

Book - 2016
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After her father is brutally murdered, Sefia flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin's been taken, or if she's even alive. The only clue is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book-- a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed.
Publisher: New York, NY : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [2016]
Branch Call Number: FICTION CHE
Characteristics: 442 pages : map ; 22 cm
ISBN: 9780399176777


From Library Staff

Sefia's murdered father left behind a mysterious rectangular object: a book. It might just be the clue she needs to save her missing aunt in this compelling fantasy. Recommended by Mandy

After her father is murdered, Sefia moves in with her Aunt Nin. But when Nin goes missing too, Sefia needs to go on a quest to find her aunt with one mysterious clue: an odd rectangular object.

From the critics

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Aug 24, 2020

Reviewers compared it to Inkheart. It’s so much more sophisticated and better written than a Inkheart. I enjoyed the premise of this magical realism story as an adult reader. Well crafted writing from this new author. I’m hooked into the series which feels like a mix of Tamora Pierce and Ursala Le Guin’s Classic Earth Sea books.

ChristchurchTeens Jun 17, 2020

The first in a new trilogy where reading is unheard of. A high-stakes fantasy adventure about a girl on the run.

Aug 09, 2019

This book contains a well-developed world and lore, three-dimensional characters, and an engaging plot. There's also a secret riddle! On the bottom of random pages there is a word or phrase that all comes together in the end. It added a mysterious element to it and was a fun read overall!

Jul 08, 2019

A pretty good fantasy read. What I loved most was stumbling upon the hidden messages within the pages of the book itself. It adds to the tone of the overall book. There are a handful of them and I believe the next book will also contain these Easter eggs. So much fun! The world building is pretty neat and the characters are interesting. I'd love to know what happens next! #PACL2019

Mar 05, 2019

I found The Reader a daring and ambitious book in terms of the number of perspectives and the large amount of references included in the novel. It isn't often we see trained assassin's, pickpockets, and pirates in the same work.

SnoIsleLib_MarissaB Sep 06, 2018

This debut fantasy novel has a large set of diverse characters ranging from swashbuckling pirates to illuminati-like magicians. The intricately plotted world-building is full of hidden magic. Danger lurks around every corner as the point of view shifts between characters.

Dec 13, 2017

wow..SPOILERS in the comments!
this series is wonderful...good for teens or adults (i'm older & loved it).
it's got a great bunch of powerful female characters
highly recommended

JCLChrisK Aug 10, 2017

An intricately crafted book set in an elaborately crafted world. There is more at play here than readers can yet know, even after the end. There is still much to be discovered.

That is the experience of the book's characters, as well. Protagonist Sefia, whose parents--and now aunt--were pursued and killed over an object she carries with her, knows none of the why behind her story. Isolated and alone, she determines to find out. Simultaneously pursued and pursuing, she gradually learns the item is a book. Hers is a world without the written word, except for this most valuable treasure revered by a secret society of "readers." It's a treasure they will do anything to recover. The Book is magical and Readers can do magic. As Sefia teaches herself things the society passes down--all while in the midst of a very bloody adventure--she begins to meet characters she's read about in the book and even discovers that she herself is in it. She doesn't know what that means, so she remains fixed on her goal of avenging those she's lost.

Sefia's story is intertwined with those of others (swashbuckling pirates, for one) and she is accompanied by a peer she rescued from a life of enslaved pit fighting who has an unnatural knack for killing. She's a wilderness survivalist, a tracker, a lock-picking thief, and, it seems, a magical "reader." She learns and grows and changes as she goes. She has quite the tale.

0Charlie Mar 22, 2017

This story sneaks up on you. You come to care about the main characters as they (and the reader) struggle to understand the world they have entered. I appreciate how "reading" is given such magical qualities. I look forward to reading the next book in the series "Sea of Ink and Gold". Recommended.

multcolib_susannel Jan 23, 2017

When Sefia sets off to avenge the violence done to her foster mom, little does she know that it will involve learning the lost art of making sense of symbols on a page, and rescuing a boy who doesn't talk.

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JCLChrisK Aug 10, 2017

This is a book,
and a book is a world,
and words are the seeds
in which meanings are curled.

Pages of oceans
and margins of land
are civilizations you hold
in the palm of your hand.

But look at your world
and your life seems to shrink
to cities of paper
and seas made of ink.

Do you know who you are,
or have you been misled?
Are you the Reader,
or are you the Read?


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