Unwanteds #2. Author: Lisa McMann.
The battle is over. The magical barrier between the dreary land of Quill and the fantastical world of Artimé is gone. Now residents of both places are free to mingle, but tensions are high. The artistic warriors of Artimé struggle to forgive those in Quill who condemned them to death, while the Quillens attempt to recover from the shock of Artime’s existence, the loss of their leader, and the total collapse of their safe, orderly world. 14-year-old Alex Stowe has recovered from his physical wounds since his death-defying role in Artime’s victory, but his confidence is shattered. He battles self-doubt after Artimé’s beloved mage, Mr. Today, makes a stunning request, which is further complicated by the mysterious arrival of two silent, orange-eyed teenagers. Meanwhile in Quill, Aaron is devastated by his fall from grace and seething with anger toward his twin brother Alex. Spurred by rage, Aaron recruits a team of Restorers and devises a masterful plan of revenge that will return him to power…if no one gets in his way.
Lisa McMann has ratcheted up the tension another notch, bringing Aaron in much more prominently and giving us a little more background into the world. Character and loyalty is more nebulous than ever, so don’t assume you know who’s side anyone is on. And this time, we don’t get a full book ending – it’s all too clear that there are more, from the startling full-stop with only a glimmer of hope.
Sexual content: Boy is jealous of another boy and girl working together. In conversation, girl says she can tell one of the boys likes a girl.
Language: 3 crud
Violence: Character is forcibly ejected from a building. Character breaks into an empty house. Two men try to force immigrants to come back. One man is repulsed by a fire ant spell. There is an attack, one of the guardians is killed, non-graphic. Due to circumstances, one teacher is left under a ‘thousand pins’ spell for perhaps fifteen minutes. A character is choked until unconscious. Two characters, captured by enemy islanders, have metal thorn collars woven around their necks, in and out of the skin. One mage is killed by attack spells. Multiple characters created by said mage die.
Other possible issues: There are various creatures alive, speaking, and apparently intelligent which turn out to have been magician-created.