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Beasts Made of Night
Contributor(s): Onyebuchi, Tochi
ISBN: 044849390X     ISBN-13: 9780448493909
Publisher: Razorbill
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: October 2017
Annotation: After he eats the sin of a royal, Taj, a talented aki, or sin-eater who consumes the guilt of others whose transgressions are exorcised from them by powerful but corrupt Mages, is drawn into a plot to destroy the city, and he must fight to save the princess he loves and his own life.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Guilt; Fiction.
Monsters; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2017013198
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 9.25" H x 6.25" W x 1.25" (0.95 lbs) 298 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 193488
Reading Level: 5.0   Interest Level: Upper Grades   Point Value: 12.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q72580
Reading Level: 5.6   Interest Level: Grades 9-12   Point Value: 19.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 July #5)

Themes of belonging, self-discovery, and inequity round out the richly imagined world of Onyebuchi's debut, where war and dark magic are around every corner. Taj is an aki, a sin eater; important yet reviled, aki battle and consume the sins of others, which take on the physical form of beasts. The tattoos of the sins Taj has eaten cover his body, marking him as other: "The lion etched into my skin will be with me forever now, a marker of Prince Haris's sin. Now he can walk around pure and noble and free while I carry the evidence of his crimes." When Taj and fellow aki Bo are summoned to eat the sin of King Kolade himself, the dragon that manifests from his sin nearly kills Taj, resulting in a tattoo unlike any other. Immediately threatened with arrest, Taj flees but is captured and forced into the king's service. Onyebuchi's worldbuilding is vivid and beguiling, and Taj's outward cockiness hides a core of vulnerability. A coming revolution will have readers looking forward to the next book. Ages 12–up. Agent: Noah Ballard, Curtis Brown. (Oct.)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 July)

Gr 7 Up—In the walled city of Kos, the royal family makes the laws, but the Mages are the enforcers. Mages often call upon the "aki" to purify the royals by eating their sins. Taj is the best aki in Kos, and when he is called to eat the king's sin, he becomes involved in a covert operation to take over the city. Told from the perspective of Taj, this debut novel is set in a mythical world where sins take the form of shadow beasts and become tattoos on the skin of the sin-eaters. Onyebuchi's world-building is strong, and the details leap off the page; readers will witness the poverty, smell the delicious food, and feel the physical pain of being a sin-eater. However, the author spells out the motives of the antagonists and the reasons for characters' behaviors, rather than letting teens infer them from the text. The romance between Taj and the princess is charming but too quick. Although this work is full of desperate people in dire situations, the narrative lacks intensity and reads more like a prequel than a series opener. Still, this title has strong female characters and a beautiful and well-crafted setting and absolutely fills the void of diversity in YA fantasy fiction. VERDICT A good choice for most fantasy collections.—Dawn Abron, Zion-Benton Public Library, IL

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.