We’re very excited to be part of The Secret of Solace Tour!
This is a wonderful book for middle graders and beyond. A fantasy book with a dash of steampunk. Let’s take a look at The Secret of Solace.
- Grade Level: 5 and up
- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (March 8, 2016)
Lina Winterbock lives in the mountain strongholds of Solace. She’s an apprentice to the archivists, the wse men and women whose lives are dedicated to cataloging, studying, and preserving the objects that mysteriously fall from the sky in the scrap towns.
Lina should be spending her days with books, but the Iron War has changed everything. The strongholds are now a refuge, and the people Lina once counted on no longer have time for her, so she spends her days exploring the hidden tunnels and passages of her home. The strongholds are vast and old, with twisting paths, forgotten rooms, and collapsed chambers, some of them containing objects that have been lost and forgotten even by the archivists.
And in one of the forgotten chambers, Lina discovers a secret.
Hidden deep in a cavern is a half-buried airship like nothing she has ever seen before. She’s determined to dig it out and restore it. But Lina needs help, and she doesn’t know anyone she can trust with her secret.
Then she meets Ozben, a mysterious boy who has a secret of his own—a secret that’s so dangerous it could change the course of the Iron War and the world of Solace forever.
I loved The Mark of the Dragonfly. And I was excited to dive back into the Jaleigh’s world. Though it’s set in the same world as the first book, we are taken to a different part of that world with a new cast of characters. We are taken to a mountain stronghold full of archivists, men and women who devote their lives to studying the mysterious artifacts that appear in their world. Secrets of Solace is high fantasy, taking place in another world where two countries are at war over iron.
Lina is an apprentice archivist and dealing with the aftermath of her parent’s death. Ozben is a refugee boy with a huge secret. When they meet, Lina makes her first friend she’s really ever had, and Ozben might have a way to go home, in part to Lina’s own secret. I liked the friendship between Lina and Ozben. It was great to see it develop throughout the book. I think kids will like it as well.
The world building is great but not solid, which is a good thing! Especially for middle graders. You need to keep their attention and Jaleigh did a good job at keeping it simple. The first half of the book is a bit slow while setting everything up, so kids might struggle with this. And the last half felt a little bit rushed to have everything come together.
All in all, it’s a good read. Jaleigh is a a strong writer and her description vivid. The ending delivered all revelations and wrapped up nicely. I hope for more in this world and would definitely pick up more books from Jaleigh.
Should you read it? If your kids like The Magisterium series by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, this book is for them!
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