The anger of angels by Sherryl Jordan

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Walker Books Australia, 2018. ISBN 9781760650605
(Age: 12+) Recommended. Themes: Fantasy. Romance. In a world where it is a crime to speak against injustice, a jester dares to perform a play that enrages a powerful tyrant prince. The jester's daughter, Giovanna, must journey into the heart of danger to turn back the terrible consequences unleashed by her father's words - and becomes entangled in a treacherous plot to overthrow the prince. She alone holds a secret which, if made public, will end the prince's reign and liberate his oppressed people. But when to openly denounce him brings certain death, will Giovanna have the courage to speak out?
Jordan crafted an inspiring tale about the power of free speech, self-expression and the need for courage to do what is right. Self-sacrifice was a prominent theme as characters grew to recognise the magnitude of issues in their world and the importance of others. This not only emphasised the key ideas, but also prompted ethical debate, causing the readers to question whether it is morally correct to take a stand on an issue and encourage change even if it causes others pain, or to compromise to minimise the damage caused.
Giovanna was a strongly written main character whose bonds with other characters revealed the way like minds can connect. The romance in the story was innocent yet intense, with both characters fiercely devoted to each other after a short period of time. The imagery was vibrant and dynamic, with the descriptions of magic and the characters themselves bringing the story to life. The choice to write Giovanna without any magical powers while her antagonists had magic only served to emphasise the importance of knowledge and free speech, an important message in this day and age. The pacing started slowly as Jordan introduced the audience to Giovanna's world, but then sped up and reached the climactic scene at breakneck speed.
This was an interesting read, bringing modern day issues to the forefront of the mind and providing ideas and themes to reflect on.
Stephanie Lam