Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy











{July 29, 2011}   Seranfyll, by Christina Daley

From Goodreads: For the first time in her life, Rain has a choice to make. The thirteen-year-old slave girl lives in the country of Yoan, where slaves aren’t allowed proper names, let alone anything else. After being sold by a gambler and bought by a thief, she’s freed by an eccentric young noble, about whom many rumors abound. Some say his manor is haunted, his horse can fly, and that he’s actually a devil.

Now that she’s free, Rain must decide what she will do with that new freedom. Her choices will lead her to new friends and many adventures, none of which she could have possibly expected.

Fans of Harry Potter and Howl’s Moving Castle will enjoy this magical tale about choices, consequences, and what it really means to be free.

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I really enjoyed this novel.  Daley has done a magnificent job creating an endearing novel with an important underlying message against all forms of slavery.  While I would classify this novel as a MG/YA novel, it is great for all ages.  The action is non-stop, with much suspense and mystery as Rain and her newfound “family,” Seranfyll and Coal, embark on many adventures that cause them to grow as individuals, while also presenting the reader with multiple life lessons.

Perhaps the most remarkable portion of this novel is actually in the author’s note, in which Daley states that, while Rain is “exceptionally fortunate… [the] stories of many slaves are not so happy.  Slavery and human trafficking are real symptoms of the greed and indifference that plague our world today.  It happens all over, from Asia to Africa, India to North America, Australia to Europe.  No nation is immune.”  This statement is jarring, but true.  While slavery might not be in the same form as it was 200 years ago, different forms of it still exist all across the world, and I commend Daley for writing a novel that deals with this subject, causing the reader to stop and think about this story on a much deeper level.

Daley has created a wonderful novel that draws the reader in, causing him/her to feel, through laughter and tears, right alongside of the characters.  I was surprised by how much of a connection I felt with the main characters as the story unfolded—Daley’s ability to create in-depth, real characters is a testament to her sheer writing capabilities and I am hoping for a sequel to this fun, meaningful novel.  Four stars. 

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