Since the world fell sick with fantastical illnesses, sisters Payton and Ani have grown up in the hospital of King Jude’s.
Payton wants to be a methic like her father, working on a cure for her mother’s sleeping fever. Ani, however, thinks the remedy for all illness might be found in the green wilderness beyond the hospital walls.
When Ani stumbles upon an imprisoned boy who turns everything he touches to gold, her world is turned upside-down. The girls find themselves outside the hospital for the first time, a dark mystery unravelling …
I listened to the audiobook of this one and it was such an immersive and fantastical world! I loved the way this used slightly different language that had a more classical feeling. It didn’t feel overly complex and still felt familiar enough to the reader but gave a different level to the story.
The plot definitely kept me hooked and I was intrigued to see where the story was going for both of the sisters. Talking of the two sisters, they made for great main characters, but my biggest gripe with this one was that I never felt particularly close to either of the sisters. Although I rooted for their stories, I didn’t find them particularly memorable or remarkable.
I was a little concerned reading about a pandemic in our current situation, but this one does have enough a fantasy feeling to distance ourself from the world, while feeling relevant and current. It does also face some other difficult topics that felt a little older than the 9-12 age range I would categorise it at, and would be good as a transitional read into younger teen books.
Overall, I really liked the world-building and the visualisation of the fantasy world was definitely the best thing for me. This wasn’t perfect, but was still enjoyable and I really liked the audiobook!
3.5 out of 5 stars
May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽