Aza Ray Boyle can’t breathe. It seems like she has always been sick- inexplicably short of breath and weak.
This continuous illness has made her always feel different from the people around her. But, perhaps, there are stranger and more exotic reasons why she is different. Ones that Aza can’t even imagine…
Jason is Aza’s dearest friend. They are so close that they almost speak their own language.
He realizes there is more to Aza than meets the eye. How will Jason handle it when he discovers the shocking truth?
This young adult fantasy is weird, but I enjoyed it.
That’s probably because I read a lot of weird, non-fiction. The story of Magonia, a world in the sky above the every day world which we know, has shown up in some of those books.
One of those books, Passport to Magonia: On UFOs, Folklore, and Parallel Worlds, captured my imagination.
That book recounts an incident where a bunch of villagers were holding church service and they heard a crash outside. They went to investigate the noise and discovered what appeared to be a ship anchor attached to the roof of their church. It was connected to, this just blows my mind, a ship in the sky. This supposedly happened in 1211 AD.
The astonishing thing about Passport to Magonia is it has pages and pages of stories like that, eyewitness accounts of bizarre ships, people, and incidents concerning people from the sky. And they all actually happened, reportedly.
I remember thinking that an author needed to get her hands on these stories and turn it into something fantastic. Maria Dahvana Headley used a different source material than the book that I read, but does a good job bringing a mysterious blip in history to life.
She has the ability to interweave actual events with fantasy fiction story lines so that the two begin to blur in the reader’s mind.
I read Headley’s first book Queen of Kings years ago and I remember being struck by its originality.
Headley took Cleopatra’s life and turned it into a vampire story. It sounds sort of silly described that way, (oh, ANOTHER vampire story) but it is actually rather fun.
I had read Margaret George’s The Memoirs of Cleopatra shortly before Queen of Kings so I had a pretty good idea of the actual story of the Egyptian queen.
Back to this book, Magonia isn’t going to appeal to everyone.
I was, at first, rather turned off by the uber-intellectual back and forth conversations of the main characters- Jason and Aza.
I think, since the mega success of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, authors make their teenage protagonists so brainy and well-spoken, it is just unbelievable.
I mean, it’s been awhile, but I remember high school. My peers and I were lucky if we could string two cogent sentences together, let alone present verbal dissertations on the meaning of pi.
Anyway, once I was able to look past their flowery repartee, I got really into the story.
Headley paints a magical and dangerous world.
If you enjoyed Magonia, you may also enjoy The Mermaid’s Sister or Under the Empyrean Sky. Both are young adult novels and take place in fantasy worlds that are so close to the world we know, but different in surprising ways.
Thanks for reading!