Nocturna

Maya Motayne

Book - 2019

Finn Voy is a faceshifter who got caught in a compromising position and now must steal a royal treasure or face the consequence of being stripped of her magic -- her only disguise and protection -- forever. When she runs into Alfehr, Crown Prince only because his perfect older brother was murdered, the two accidentally unleash an apocalyptic power.

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Series
Motayne, Maya. Forgery of magic ; 1.
Subjects
Genres
Action and adventure fiction
Fantasy fiction
Novels
Published
New York : Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers [2019]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Item Description
Series information from Goodreads.com.
Physical Description
471 pages : map ; 22 cm
ISBN
9780062842732
0062842730
Main Author
Maya Motayne (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Finn Voy is a professional thief and faceshifter: she can look at another person's face and take on their exact features, assuming different identities in a matter of moments. With no family or ties, she roams freely from one city to the next, using her magic to keep herself fed and safe. Prince Alfehr is the reluctant heir to the Castallan throne after his beloved brother is murdered. Finn and Alfie meet at a deadly magical card game and find they can help each other. When Alfie learns there's a chance to bring his brother back to life using forbidden magic, he takes it—and disastrously releases an ancient power that can easily destroy the world. What makes Motayne's debut title singular and special is that her kingdom is Latinx, with brown-skinned, curly-haired people and Spanish sprinkled throughout. It's refreshing and wonderful to see a diverse fantasy world reflecting Latinx cultures. Cinematic, plentiful action as well as intriguing protagonists will pull in many a fantasy reader, and the richly detailed world will keep them reading. Grades 8-11. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

First in a trilogy, Motayne's debut introduces Finn Voy, an orphaned thief who can magically alter her appearance, and Alfehr Reyes, the crown prince of Castallan, who can see and manipulate magical threads that bind the universe. After Alfie catches Finn trying to steal the royal family's vanishing cloak to repay a vicious mob boss, he initially agrees to loan the cloak to her. Then his cousin, Luka, collapses suddenly after consuming poison intended for Alfie. Still reeling from his brother's recent murder during a failed coup, Alfie releases an ancient evil that claims it can heal Luka. When chaos ensues, Alfie modifies his offer: Finn can have the cloak if she helps him stop the dark force from ushering in eternal night. This fantasy set in a Latinx kingdom explores the lasting effects of childhood trauma, the destructive potential of grief, and the redemptive power of love. Some characters lack depth, and murky world building muddies an already complex plot, but the stakes are high, Finn and Alfie's reluctant attraction rings true, and a gratifying conclusion paves the way for book two. Ages 13–up. Agent: Alexandra Machinist and Hillary Jacobson, ICM Partners. (May) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 8 Up—After his brother Dez's murder, Prince Alfehr is poised to become king—something he fears almost as acutely as finding concrete proof that his brother is truly dead. Alfie left Castallan months ago to grieve and, he hopes, to find a way to bring his brother back from the void—even if it means using his bruxo magic to ill ends. Finn is a faceshifter who can change her appearance at will. It's a magical ability that serves her well as a thief. When their paths cross, Alfie and Finn accidentally unleash a dangerous ancient power that could destroy Castallan and the rest of the world. Together they will have to confront their failures and their greatest fears to contain this dark magic before it's too late. Motayne's debut novel is an epic fantasy set in a Latinx-inspired world with a unique magic system where moving shadows can reveal a person's feelings and spells will be immediately recognizable to Spanish speakers. Alternating chapters follow Alfie and Finn, giving nuance to their motivations and bad decisions. Alfie and Finn's relationship, which evolves over the course of the novel from a reluctant alliance to obvious respect and affection, helps fill the void left by world-building that remains thin even with the added dimension of Castallan trying to assert itself in the wake of generations of Englass colonial rule. VERDICT A promising debut with unique magic and two strong protagonists among a varied ensemble cast.—Emma Carbone, Brooklyn Public Library Copyright 2019 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A disguise-savvy thief and a risk-taking prince team up to defeat a powerful dark magic force that they have accidentally unleashed, in a sweeping fantasy debut inspired by the author's Dominican heritage. A first novel. 5, first printing. Simultaneous eBook.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Finn Voy, a talented faceshifter, and Prince Alfehr, still grieving the death of his older brother, accidentally unleash an ancient power that will devour the world if it is not contained.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"Finn Voy is a faceshifter who got caught in a compromising position and now must steal a royal treasure or face the consequence of being stripped of her magic -- her only disguise and protection -- forever. When she runs into Alfehr, Crown Prince only because his perfect older brother was murdered, the two accidentally unleash an apocalyptic power." --

Review by Publisher Summary 4

The first in a sweeping and epic debut fantasy trilogy—set in a stunning Latinx-inspired world—about a face-changing thief and a risk-taking prince who must team up to defeat a powerful evil they accidentally unleashed. Perfect for fans of Tomi Adeyemi, Leigh Bardugo, and V. E. Schwab.To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks.As a talented faceshifter, it’s been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that’s exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she’s forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever.After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can’t help but feel that he will never live up to his brother’s legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic.But when Finn and Alfie’s fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan’s fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

The first in a sweeping and epic debut fantasy trilogy'set in a stunning Latinx-inspired world'about a face-changing thief and a risk-taking prince who must team up to defeat a powerful evil they accidentally unleashed. Perfect for fans of Tomi Adeyemi, Leigh Bardugo, and V. E. Schwab.To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her'and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks.As a talented faceshifter, it's been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that's exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she's forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan's royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever.After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can't help but feel that he will never live up to his brother's legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic.But when Finn and Alfie's fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power'which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan's fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts.