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Skin Hunger

(A Resurrection of Magic #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  3,636 ratings  ·  559 reviews
Sadima lives in a world where magic has been banned, leaving poor villagers prey to fakes and charlatans. A magician stole her family's few valuables and left Sadima's mother to die on the day Sadima was born. But vestiges of magic are hidden in old rhymes and hearth tales and in people like Sadima, who conceals her silent communication with animals for fear of rejection a ...more
Hardcover, 357 pages
Published July 24th 2007 by Atheneum Books
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  3,636 ratings  ·  559 reviews

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Emily May
Sep 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emily May by: Tatiana
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult, 2012
This is one of those books I read a while ago and kept promising myself I'd write the kind of review a book like this deserves. Well, here I am, trying my best.

What can I say to make you take a chance on this under-read, under-appreciated book? Well, Skin Hunger gets a lot of comparisons with Harry Potter - both feature a school for young wizards, magic-abusing villains, etc. - but this series is set in a much darker world and tells a disturbing tale about the pains undergone for the sake of mag
Oct 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: readers looking for a unique, dark and edgy teen fantasy
Recommended to Tatiana by: National Book Award
Skin Hunger landed on my only-i-will-like shelf due to a number of reasons.

First, there is an issue of two separate story lines that never come together in any significant way. They mingle and have common themes and characters, but they never merge. That, I assume, will happen at some future point in the trilogy.

In an unidentified middle age-inspired fantasy land where magic is lost and those who call themselves magicians are fakers and charlatans, 17-year old farm girl Sadima joins a couple of
May 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Catie by: Tatiana, Emily
3 1/2 stars

These days, the phrase “the study of magic” tends to evoke images of boarding schools, quirky teachers, magic potions, and cute mythical creatures more than anything else. However, when you take a look at our own anthropological record, “the study of magic” has more often been associated with a very different set of things: hours of meditation, fasting, ritualistic pain, brutal tests of endurance, isolation…and the list goes on. Kathleen Duey’s Skin Hunger seems to take inspiration fr
Jul 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series-ongoing
Skin Hunger is like Harry Potter gone bad. Imagine Hogwarts instead of a gorgeous castle with moving stairs as an endless labyrinth of caves and tunnels in complete darkness. Add Voldemort as the headmaster and food being available only as a reward once the student has mastered the requested magic exercises. And if he fails, no one will help ...

Kathleen Duey has created a very innovative work, with a fresh (and grim) take on the "magic academy" setting. I was quite impressed by how she deals wit
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This book... this book is everything I was told it would be, when it was first recommended to me by a friend in the library teen advisory group years ago. It's creative and engaging and ominous and rich, with a plot that grabbed hold of me and pulled me ever onward and worldbuilding that felt material and real. It'd be a great autumn read, if you're inclined to choose books thematically, though I finished it in the middle of summer.

It is also the beginning of a work that will probably never be f
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Natalie Tsang for

Despite what the cover may say, Kathleen Duey's SKIN HUNGER, first installment of her fantasy trilogy A RESURRECTION OF MAGIC, is not a novel. It's a third of a novel. Or maybe it's two novels. Maybe it's a sixth. But anyway you slice the cake, it's not enough.

The book alternates chapters narrated by Sadima, a farm girl, and Hahp, a second born son of a cruel merchant. The catch is that they live several generations apart. One in a world that desper
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Heidi by: Catie
There’s a line between horror novels and those that are dark, but it’s certainly a chalk line that can be blurred fairly easily, a line that Kathleen Duey dances upon in her A Resurrection of Magic series. I may never have picked this one up on my own, but thankfully my friend Catie had just finished reading it herself and offered it to me in the pile of books she’d brought for me to borrow. She handed it to me saying that it was kind of like Harry Potter…if at Hogwarts they tortured all of the ...more
While the parallel stories are compelling, the world is fascinating, and the characters complex, I just didn't click with either of the main characters, and that took the story down a notch for me. Still, it's a strong book with a cliff-hanger of an ending and lots of unresolved bits and pieces that will definitely have me picking up the next installment. Although fantasy, the fantastic elements are almost beside the point, with the learning of magic centered more around almost-forgotten rhymes ...more
Third read. I was going to delete my previous comments because my expectations about a third book and keeping track of the possible release dates while threatening the publisher with their impending doom seem meaningless now, but they should stand as they are: I'll keep them as a journal of sorts. But there won't be a third book. At least not by her.
Rest in peace, Kathleen. Thank you for the wonderful stories.


Second read. I still haven't read the sequel
Elizabeth P
Sep 11, 2009 rated it did not like it
I can't deny that this book has excellent, beautiful writing. Or suspense and cliffhangers at the end of each chapter that made me frantically think "must keep reading until the book is finished." However, I was distressed by all of the abuse.
Abuse was a disturbing trend in this book. Within the first 5 pages there are three instances of abusive behavior. The rest of the novel doesn't get better. There are many instances of abusive behavior, most notably between Hahp's father and Hahp, between S
Jul 07, 2012 rated it liked it

More like 3.5 stars

I'm really conflicted about how to rate this book, and sat in front of the review space for at least 30 minutes thinking about how I wanted to write this. I can see what my friends were saying when they point out this wouldn't be a crowd pleaser, or an easy read, but it wasn't nearly as dark and depraved as I was expecting and hoping (and I don't care to think about what that means about my psyche, lol). It's actually two stories that barely connect, and I was
Feb 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
Skin Hunger is the first installment of a new magic-based trilogy called A Resurrection of Magic. The book alternates chapters between the stories of two separate protagonists- Sadima and Hahp.

Sadima is a farm girl whose family is betrayed by a false magician during her birth. She grows up with a father who is completely broken inside and is unable to enjoy much even in her rural life. She has an unnatural connection with animals, and feels as though she can communicate with them through her th
When I read the synopsis of this book, I thought it might be a pretty good read. A nobleman restoring magic to all is a good thing, right? Unfortunately, what I was expecting and what I got were two different things.

One of the few characters that I liked even a little bit. Despite Franklin's insistence that Somiss is doing all of this for the right reasons, she realizes that what he says and does are two different things.

I felt sorry for him most of the book but he is as bad as
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 19, 2008 rated it did not like it
This book got really good reviews which is why I decided to read it. But I am at a loss as to why since it really was not that good. It moves forward very slowly, if at all, and I didn't really develop a connection with any of the characters.

The book starts by telling two separate stories that eventually merge (kind of). There is a common character to both stories but I don't think the two main characters ever meet (but I could be wrong since I zoned out a couple of times when I was listening to
May 01, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fantasy fans of Octavian Nothing; think_galactic
Shelves: fantasy
Take any of those twee stories about wizarding school and then shove bleak, black despair down its throat. That's this book. It starts out sweet and cliched: a little farm girl can commune with animals, but her father hates magic; a little boy is about to enroll in wizard school. The chapters are short, without much to them. As the characters get older and the story grows more complex, the chapters cease being little cute snippets of their lives and become longer. With time, as more of each situ ...more
Ali Cross
May 09, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: No one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wonderful premise, original story, loved it.
Stuti Rai
I'm not going to rate this book because I just don't want to and I don't feel like rating anything. But this was awesome.

I read this slowly. Or rather, erratically. Started this back in Feb, read a few chapters, left. Then picked it up after a few weeks, read it halfway through, abandoned. Read a few pages in the months in between and finally finished it today.

Don't know what was going through my head when I felt it. But let's move on.

The last hundred pages of this book are the most commendable,
Stephanie Tang
Apr 15, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: from-library
This book was dark and gritty, and parts of it were thoroughly frightening. This the type of book that appeals to both boys and girls because of the balance between romance (Sadima's story) and harsh survival (Hahp's story). I enjoyed Sadima's side of the story a little more, maybe because I don't have the stomach to visualize Hahp's experience in the wizard academy. I thought both Sadima and Hahp were compelling narrators, although their stories confused me a bit at first. Halfway through the b ...more
Nov 20, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
Um...people (besides me) seem to really love this one, but I must say I don't really understand why. It felt really, really slow to me, and the way Duey alternates story lines made it hard for me to get engrossed in either one. I found myself marginally more interested in Sadima's parts than in Hahp's, but I never quite connected with either of them. People also talk about how horrific these kids' circumstances are, but...somehow I never really FELT the horror of it. The emotional response was j ...more
Feb 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, ya-novels, fantasy
3.5 stars

It's a quality novel in terms of writing and plot (although the fantasy world seemed a little vague despite the middle age inspiration to it, but then again, it's not really a big issue.), but the lack of climax certainly dulled the pacing in the middle up to the last part, which is kinda disappointing after the fascinating beginning. I just feel that not much is achieved in terms of plot progression since the novel was so focused on the two protagonists' every day life. It was good for
Jun 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a raw, harsh story and yet there was just enough hope for me to keep reading. I disliked the back-and-forth POV. I wish the author had chosen one or the other, though the shift between third- and first-person may be to underscore past and present. It wasn't too distracting once I got into the book. (view spoiler) What I liked about the book: ...more
It’s been over a decade since I first read Skin Hunger, and it remains one of the best YA books I have ever read.

The fact that this series will never be finished is devastating (although I have hope that there is some sort of manuscript lying around that could possibly be published??? Please), but don’t let that stop you from picking up Skin Hunger and its sequel, Sacred Scars; they’re too good.

This book deserves a much more detailed review than this, and I’ll come back one day and do just that.
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Ah... there seems to be a lot of good reviews for this book O_O I guess I may not fit in here then...

To start off, I'll say that I enjoyed the writing style. It seemed to be well written and what not, which was probably the only reason I didn't give up on reading it.

Sooo, I admit it. I sort of forgot the explanation of the book. Or perhaps I just didn't read it like I thought I did. However, I spent practically 10 chapters or so wondering whether or not the two characters lived in the same time
Baba Yaga
Dec 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those after a darker tale and tired of the otherwise regurgitated fantasy genre
Sadima lives in a world where magic has been banned, leaving poor villagers prey to fakes and charlatans. A "magician" stole her family's few valuables and left Sadima's mother to die on the day Sadima was born. But vestiges of magic are hidden in old rhymes and hearth tales and in people like Sadima, who conceals her silent communication with animals for fear of rejection and ridicule. When rumors of her gift reach Somiss, a young nobleman obsessed with restoring magic, he sends Franklin, his l ...more
N.T. Embe
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Magic and medieval lovers who don't mind a bit of vicious cruelty thrown in.
Recommended to N.T. by: Library

I've got to admit, when I first picked up this book, it was because I got interested in the idea that one part of it was about a girl who could understand and communicate with animals. In a way, it was part of my thoughts about researching shapeshifters for my own benefit, but when I began reading, I realized the book wasn't focused on this otherwise tiny aspect; it was only the smallest detail that led to this great, huge concoction of the horrible and yet intriguing stories that melded almost


For those of you who don't know, I have a rule that I neither buy, check out, borrow or otherwise read books whose sequels have not been published. I just get too darn impatient for the continuation of the series.

Well, I did not realize that Skin Hunger is a trilogy. Yes, it says so right on the book. Yes, I really can read. But I didn't. Big mistake.

Skin Hunger tells two stories, alternating chapter to chapter between the two. The first is the 3rd-person narrative of S
Aug 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Original post at The Little Bookworm refers to audio

Sadima lives in a world where magic is outlawed and the country is ruled by a king. But she has a magic all her own, she can hear animals talk. One day she meets Franklin who works for a young nobleman and who invites her to the city. After the death of her father, she goes and finds that they are working on finding the lost magic.

Centuries later, Hahp lives in a world where magicians are revered. He has no particular magic skill but as the sec
Christina Getrost
Nov 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fantasy fans looking for something different
Shelves: fantasy
Interesting book with two alternating stories that at first appear unrelated, but then start to be connected to each other. One story is about a girl, Sadima, whose mother dies when she is born. She is raised by her father and older brother on a farm, very poor and isolated from the world. Eventually she moves out to the city, to find a helpful young man she met only once, and try to make a living working as a maid for him and his master. Meanwhile, you read about a young boy, Hahp, who is being ...more
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Kathleen Duey grew up in Colorado. She loved riding her horses, hiking, being in the mountains. Reading was always important to her. Writing became a fascination early in her life. In the fourth grade, Kathleen began writing stories and told everyone who would listen that she was going to be an author. Then she did nothing about it until she was 35 years old. In the last decade, Kathleen has learn ...more

Other books in the series

A Resurrection of Magic (3 books)
  • Sacred Scars
  • Untitled (A Resurrection of Magic, #3)

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