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Yesterday, while my son played with his remote control car and my husband watched his Laker basketball game, I read a book that touched me in more ways than one. Once more I found myself next to this little Persian bakery shop with his CNN news on full blast and the owner swearing he was American and not one of those terrorists that bombed the Twin Towers. I heard again the story of my mom's neighbor, though an American of birth, home being pelted with eggs and the hate sign painted on her home--Arab go home.

But also I read about faith and hope. That even though it's easy to hate those who have done us wrong, it's also possible to forgive.

Dia Calhoun has explored a similar issue in her fantasy, AVIELLE. Taught to hate and fear the heritage that sets her apart from most people of the kindgom, fifteen-year-old Princess Avielle of Rhia hides from most everyone. Shunned by those around her, she feels unloved and unable to love others. Rumor of a war with Dredonia surfaces. The evil wizard-priests, the Brethren of the Black Cloaks make impossible demands of the kingdom of Rhia, and the king and queen have refused to acquiesce.

One terrible night, the Brethren attack, killing the royal family and hundreds of others. Avielle escapes. She hides, fearing that she will be like her great great grandmother and unlease her own evil.

While in hiding she encounters more hatred towards those like her, Silverskins. She also finds she has a gift of weaving. But will this gift, rooted in her Dredonian blood, lead Avielle to the same evil of her great great grandmother? Or will it help free her people from further attacks?

I loved this book. I feel the author did a wonderful job of showing what happens during war. I also liked how she explored how people turn their anger toward those who remind them of the people who'd done atrocities to their own kind.

After 9-11, my sister and my Muslim brother-in-law experienced many expressions of hate and anger, based on their Muslim belief. And one day while I stood in line at Bank of America and watched CNN, how one man in front of me loudly explained, "We need to kill all of them. They're all animals."

Avielle encounters many similar expressions. I highly recommend this book. To those who love a good fantasy and to others to realize the hate isn't the way.

AVIELLE is a Cybil nominated book.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Dec. 26th, 2006 10:35 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked it!!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )