for Slaves of the Mastery
by William Nicholson
The second volume in The Wind on Fire trilogy won’t disappoint readers who enjoyed last year’s The Wind Singer (Hyperion, 2000). Kestrel, Bowman, the delightful Pinpin (now a mature seven-year-old and going by her given name of Pinto), and their parents are back, five years older and just as independent and free-thinking as they were in Book One. The people of Aramanth have enjoyed their recent freedom from the oppressive Morah, but their newfound autonomy has left them undefended against forces from the distant Mastery. Invaders strike at night, decimating Aramanth as they pillage and burn the town, taking its residents prisoner. Only Kestrel manages to evade capture. After a horrific forced march to the Mastery, the prisoners are relieved to reach the grand city’s borders, where it seems that they may be treated well. As Kestrel attempts to reach her captive family, her parents become suspicious of the way their fellow Aramanthians appear almost to welcome their slavery. The family members preach caution, but their neighbors disregard them. Looming ominously over the story’s events is the Master, a powerful leader who somehow elicits universal servitude despite his acts of violence and cruelty. As Kestrel and Bowman attempt to free their family, events unwind in unexpected ways, showing that the people and circumstances they judged to be inherently evil may merit different interpretations. An engrossing plot, combined with evolving, multi-layered characters, creates a distinctive fantasy world to be savored as we await Book Three. (Ages 12–16)
CCBC Choices 2002 . © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2002. Used with permission.
The people of Aramanth are finally free of the Morah, the evil power that controlled them for generations. But a ruthless attack by soldiers from a distant land destroys the city, and its people are driven off as slaves. During the invasion, Kestrel and Bowman are separated for the first time in their lives. Bowman becomes a slave of the Mastery. Kestrel escapes, then sets off to avenge the enslavement of her family. As the twins embark on their parallel adventures, their mother's prophetic dreams reveal their true identity and their dangerous fate. Bowman's mind power and Kestrel's fierce spirit are soon joined once again to fight for the freedom of their people.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.