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“For the first time in my entire life, I have power. More than power. I feel like I belong. Like this is my ship. Like this is my country. Like this is my destiny.”
I have so much respect for writers like Maria Dahvana Headley who are so immensely creative that they can create an entire world. There’s nothing cookie cutter about this novel and I love that!
Aza is a young girl with a lung disease that doctors are unable to diagnose. It’s hard for her to breathe, so every day is a struggle, but her family and best friend Jason support her, making her life a little easier for her to bear. One day Aza sees a ship in the sky, but her family thinks she’s hallucinating from her medication. The only person who believes her is her friend Jason Kerwin. Jason mentions Magonia, but Aza thinks it’s a myth. Something goes tragically wrong and she wakes up in an unfamiliar place. She discovers that she’s in Magonia, which is another world, but in Magonia she’s healthy and powerful. She can breathe. Earth and Magonia are dependent on each other and Magonians think a war between them is imminent. Aza feels torn because she still loves and misses her Earth family, but she’s starting to feel like she belongs in Magonia.
Maria Dahvana Headley is super smart and her intelligence shows in her references throughout the novel. Jason is constantly reciting pi and he’s read the Annuls of Ulster. She references Shakespeare, Casablanca, Moby Dick, E. E. Cummings, Animal Form, Icarus and Jacob Grimm. I love stories that incorporate those types of details.
I love the prose; it’s smooth and conversational. It has a natural flow that meshes well with her wonderful storytelling and fully developed characters.
I’ll never view storms the same way again. Whenever I see a storm, I’m going to start thinking, “That’s Magonia foraging the Earth again.” I wouldn’t be surprised if I started staring at the clouds looking for ships.
This novel was so refreshingly different, so if you love fantasy, you’ll love this one.
Magonia review on Jenny's Book Bag.