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In Other Lands
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In Other Lands
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Sometimes it's not the kid you expect who falls through to magicland, sometimes it's . . . Elliott. He's grumpy, nerdy, and appalled by both the dearth of technology and the levels of fitness involved...
Sometimes it's not the kid you expect who falls through to magicland, sometimes it's . . . Elliott. He's grumpy, nerdy, and appalled by both the dearth of technology and the levels of fitness involved...
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  • Sometimes it's not the kid you expect who falls through to magicland, sometimes it's . . . Elliott. He's grumpy, nerdy, and appalled by both the dearth of technology and the levels of fitness involved in swinging swords around. He's a little enchanted by the elves and mermaids. Despite his aversion to war, work, and most people (human or otherwise) he finds that two unlikely ideas, friendship and world peace, may actually be possible.
    "A subversive, sneaky, glorious tale of magic, longing, and growing into your wings."
    — Holly Black, author of The Darkest Part of the Forest
    Praise for Sarah Rees Brennan's books:
    “Breathtaking—a compulsive, rocketing read."
    —Tamora Pierce, New York Times bestselling author
    “I suspect that word of this magical thriller will pass through the populace with the energy of wind, of fire."
    —Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and Egg and Spoon
    “From the pitch-perfect opening paragraph, to the heartbreaking final pages... delicious."
    Kirkus (starred review)
    “A sparkling fantasy that will make you laugh and break your heart."
    —Cassandra Clare, New York Times bestselling author
    “A darkly funny, deliciously thrilling Gothic."
    —Kelley Armstrong, New York Times bestselling author
    “A laugh-out-loud delight."—Publishers Weekly
    “Brennan takes the genres of young adult, fantasy, and romance, and through her own writerly, alchemical process converts them into something new and strange and lovely."—Kelly Link, author of Pretty Monsters
    Sarah Rees Brennan (sarahreesbrennan.com) was born and raised in Ireland and now travels the world writing, teaching and confusing locals. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Tell the Wind and Fire and the Lynburn Legacy and Demon's Lexicon series, among other works.

About the Author-

  • Sarah Rees Brennan was born and raised in Ireland and now lives in New York City. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Tell the Wind and Fire and the Lynburn Legacy series among others. Her website is sarahreesbrennan.com.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2017
    Four years in the life of an unloved English schoolboy who's invited to a secret magical school and learns that even in fantasyland, real life is messier than books.If Elliot's story seems familiar, the impression fades quickly. Ginger-haired, white Elliot, an undersized nonpracticing Jew, is a total brat. When the 13-year-old crosses into the Borderlands and sees he's more intelligent than most of the other kids--and adults--he's quick to say so. He doesn't form a circle of friends so much as an alliance of distrustful mutual advantage. With Luke Sunborn, a flaxen-haired, blue-eyed, white golden boy, Elliot tutors Serene, an ethereally beautiful elf with "pearl-pale" skin, who's determined to excel twice as much as any other student. Elliot's initial interest in Serene is despicable; he aims to fake friendship until she grows to love him. But over the course of four years training among child soldiers, Elliot, unsurprisingly, grows up. His slow development into a genuinely kind person is entirely satisfying, as is his awakening to his own bisexuality and to the colonialism, sexism, and racism of Borderlands society. Only one human character, the beautifully and sparingly drawn Capt. Woodsinger, appears to be a person of color. A stellar, if dense and lengthy, coming-of-age novel; those with the patience to sit through our hero's entire adolescence will find it a wholly rewarding journey. (Fantasy. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from August 7, 2017
    Elliot Schafer is a small-for-his-age 13-year-old who is prone to being bullied—largely due to his personality, which slots somewhere between insufferable know-it-all and sarcastic jackass. When Elliot’s class travels to a “random field in Devon, England” for a supposed scholarship test, he instead winds up in a strange world known as the Borderlands, which are filled with elves, mermaids, and other creatures. So begins Brennan’s hilarious, irreverent, and multilayered coming-of-age fantasy, set over several years. Elliot quickly befriends (and falls for) Serene, a fierce elven warrior, and arranges a reluctant truce with Luke Sunborn, the son of one of the Borderland’s founding families. All three—along with every young person there—are training in war or as councilors, charged with protecting the fragile barrier with the human world. Amid shifting relationships, the threat of war, and substantial growth among the characters, Elliot’s razor-edged wit and general inability to keep his mouth shut make for blissfully entertaining reading. Smart explorations of gender stereotypes, fluid sexuality, and awkward romance only add to the depth and delight of this glittering contemporary fantasy. Ages 13–up. Agent: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary.

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2017

    Gr 8 Up-It would a bit of a misnomer to label Brennan's latest book as fantasy. Readers looking for an epic tale full of magic and the like may initially find themselves a bit disappointed. However, if they stick with protagonist Elliot Schafer until the end, they'll be duly rewarded. The story begins with Elliot at age 13 and follows the next four years of his life as a magic school student in a place called the Borderlands. With no friends in the real world, a mother who ran off when he was a baby, and a father who couldn't care less, Elliot understandably has a few issues and uses sarcasm as a coping mechanism. Nevertheless, he befriends an elven warrior named Serene and a human named Luke. They work through the roller coaster of adolescence, all while dealing with an impending war. Though magical creatures and settings appear throughout, they serve merely as a backdrop to the characters as they struggle with their friendship, ideals, identity, and sexuality. The author turns sexist lingo usually used against women on its head and instead directs it at the male characters (in one instance among many, it's mentioned that men are most desirable in their youth and are told to smile more). The feminist aspect of the novel sometimes comes off as a bit preachy. VERDICT This is a unique coming-of-age tale with strong messages about the complexities of love and life. A solid choice for YA collections.-Kimberly Castle-Alberts, Akron-Summit County Public Library, OH

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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