I finished this book at around 6:30pm last night. By 6:35 I was in my car, headed to the library to pick up the sequel.
Two stories are intertwined in this fantasy tale: Sadima, a farm girl, and Hahp, a young man sent off to a school for wizards. It is a slow building, treacherous story. You feel thier two lives touching each other on the fringes although their stories are set hundreds of years apart. There is an underlying evil and corruption. In Sadima's world, magic has been outlawed, leaving only fakes, who came in to help Sadima's mother give birth. They leave her mother dead, the infant child laying on a cold stone floor after robbing them of everything. Sadima has the magical gift of speaking to animals, which she must keep hidden. Hahp is sent off to a wizardry school, where he is starved and abused. Only one of the boys will become a wizard, if any at all. The rest slowly die off. This story was powerful enough to make me dream of it both nights I was reading it, and the third night, when I had begun Sacred Scars, I actually started sleepwalking, thinking I had to make it out of the caves.