The Plentiful Darkness
Henry Holt & Co.
Published August 3, 2021
About The Plentiful Darkness
In Heather Kassner’s spine-chilling fantasy novel, reminiscent of Serafina and the Black Cloak, an orphaned girl chases a thieving boy into a magician’s land of starless, moonless gloom where other children have gone missing before her.
Though the darkness is indeed plentiful, this book gleams with an eerie magic, its characters burning bright and fierce. A visual treat of a tale. –Stefan Bachmann, international bestselling author of Cinders and Sparrows
In order to survive on her own, twelve-year-old Rooney de Barra collects precious moonlight, which she draws from the evening sky with her (very rare and most magical) lunar mirror. All the while she tries to avoid the rival roughhouse boys, and yet another, more terrifying danger: the dreaded thing that’s been disappearing children in the night.
When Trick Aidan, the worst of the roughhouse boys, steals her lunar mirror, Rooney will do whatever it takes to get it back. Even if it means leaping into a pool of darkness after it swallows Trick and her mirror. Or braving the Plentiful Darkness, a bewitching world devoid of sky and stars. Or begrudgingly teaming up with Trick to confront the magician and unravel the magic that has trapped Warybone’s children.
THE PLENTIFUL DARKNESS is one of those books that I wouldn’t have guessed to be the gem it is. I love the writing– it’s a bit spare but also super emotive. The grief Rooney and the magician experience gave me chills. I love that both light and darkness have physical form in the story and the way those two things play out. I also love Rooney’s relationship with the little rat that comes with her and the fact that she calls the whole group of rats from her alley “the Montys”. So cute.
It didn’t take me long at all to read this book. The story moves pretty quickly, and there were definitely moments I didn’t expect. The characters drew me in, and right away I wanted to know what was happening with the magician. I love the direction her story took.
On the whole, I think this might be one of my favorite middle grade reads this year. I wouldn’t have guessed that from the cover copy, but I think it has the perfect balance of unforgettable characters, intriguing story, and just a hint of creepiness. I think fans of dark fantasy like SHADOW MAGIC by Joshua Khan will love this one.
Recommended for Ages 10 to 14.
Not enough character details to say.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Some characters have magic. Rooney and other children collect moonlight in special mirrors and sell it. Moonlight and starlight can be used to light fires do other things.
Rooney and other children are caught in a place where darkness has physical form and the trees can attack them. Rooney’s parents and some others from her village have died from a flu epidemic.
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