Thursday, January 31, 2019

YA Book Review: The Antidote by Shelley Sackier

The Antidote
Author: Shelley Sackier
Publication: HarperTeen (February 5, 2019)

Description: From the author of The Freemason’s Daughter comes a lush romantic fantasy perfect for fans of Everless!

In the world of healers, there is no room for magic.

Fee knows this, just as certainly as she knows that her magic must be kept secret.

But the crown prince Xavi, Fee’s best friend and only source of comfort, is sick. So sick, that Fee can barely contain the magic lying dormant inside her. She could use it, just a little, to heal him. But magic comes at a deadly cost—and attracts those who would seek to snuff it out forever.

A wisp of a spell later, Fee finds herself caught in a whirl of secret motivations and dark pasts, where no one is who—or what—they appear to be. And saving her best friend means delving deeper into the tempting and treacherous world whose call she’s long resisted—uncovering a secret that will change everything.

Laini Taylor meets Sara Holland in this lavish fantasy from lauded historical romance author Shelley Sackier!

My Thoughts: This story was a complex fantasy with interesting characters. It begin with a prologue which sets the stage and has characters we don't see again until much farther into the book. The main story concerns a land suffering some sort of a plague that has killed many of the people including the king and queen, a land that has been decimated, and a missing jewel.

The main character in this story is a young girl named Ophelia - Fee to her friends. We meet her as a mischievous seven-year-old (?) who sometimes spontaneously does magic. Magic, however, has been forbidden in her kingdom and it is necessary that she be taught to hide it. Her best friends are ten-year-old Xavi who is the heir to the kingdom and his brother Rye who is Fee's destined husband. They are inseparable friends.

However, when the plague comes to the country, Rye is sent away with the other remaining children to other nearby kingdoms, Fee is hidden by the castle's healer Savva and becomes her apprentice, and Xavi is put under the guardianship of Sir Rollins as he learns about the country he'll rule when he turns twenty-one. It has been determined that the country will be clear of infection after ten years.

During those ten years, Fee learns from to be a healer and mostly manages to suppress her magic. She spends much of her time trying to find a cure for Xavi's illness. The only contact she has with Rye are the letters that he sends Xavi. Though she writes to him, he never answers.

Things come to a head when Xavi's betrothed Quinn comes to the country and Xavi gets sicker. Fee learns that Quinn is poisoning him. In an effort to protect Xavi, they fake his death and hide him in a cave where they spent time as children. Then Rye returns to the country much changed and is convinced the Fee has deliberately poisoned his brother.

It gets more complicated from there as Rye and Fee try to find out who poisoned Xavi and what happened to him since he's missing from his hiding place. Fee learns more about her magic and her heritage and the villain who started all of this because she was thwarted in love.

Fans of twisty, romantic fantasy will enjoy this story.

Favorite Quote:
"If I may clarify, it wasn't things I'd grown attached to. It was people. And none of them resided in any of the kingdoms I'd been forced to live in."

Fee twisted to look at him from her saddle. "I would have thought the excitement of seeing new lands and meeting new people would trump the version of Fireli's predictable, repetitious daily life."

"It didn't," he said flatly.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

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