Monday, June 23, 2008

Ever by Gail Carson Levine

When 14-year-old Kezi’s mother falls gravely ill, her father makes a rash promise to Admat, the god of their city Hyte. He swears that if Admat will restore his wife’s health he will kill the first person who congratulates him within three days. The family hides out hoping for the three days to pass without contact. Unfortunately, Kezi’s beloved Aunt Fedo arrives without warning and begins to comment on the mother’s health, to save her aunt’s life, Kezi congratulates her father herself, bringing the oath down upon her own head. Meanwhile, Olus, the Akkan god of the winds has been observing Kezi’s family from afar and has fallen deeply in love with the girl. Determined to save her life, Olus reveals himself to Kezi and the two set off to change her fate by completing a series of quests that could make her immortal. The question of faith is prevalent throughout this tale. There is no tangible sign – even to the god Olus – that Kezi’s god exists and yet, she never abandons her belief in him or turns her back on her father’s oath to him even when doing so could prevent her death. That exploration of the meaning and power of faith allow this title to stand out from Levine’s other romantic works as one not only worth reading but also contemplating for some time after the last page is turned.

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