HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen. Feb. 2022. 496p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062696632.
Gr 9 Up–The day the fourth saint is anointed, the preternatural killings plaguing Haven, the last town on Earth, are supposed to cease. But Saint Amity’s induction is marred by another body, white-eyed beasts, gray wispy women, and newfound secrets of her saintly sisters. Haunted also by the legacy of her mother’s shame, Amity reluctantly approaches the other saints so that she may learn how to save Haven, only to discover rebellion, witches, and more power than she ever knew a woman could wield. Alongside the gory, insistent violence wrought by the town and the coven, Legrand’s lush and uniquely evocative prose keeps tensions high throughout Amity’s struggle with her magic, fury, and conscience. Gradual worldbuilding of the claustrophobic and purposefully homogenous village and the mountain beyond bookends a faster middle half, and while background characters fade somewhat, Amity’s relationships with those closest to her are the foundation for her most personal and profound revelations.
VERDICT Slow-burn horror meets a queer coming-of-age story, with compassionately explored themes of feminism, grief, trauma, faith, and abuse. A YA fantasy complement to Naomi Alderman’s The Power; fans of Legrand will find this an interesting new approach, as will readers of Rory Power and House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland.

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