Catie's Reviews > Sacred Scars

Sacred Scars by Kathleen Duey
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jul 24, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, read-in-2012, series, ya
Recommended to Catie by: Tatiana
Read from July 25 to 27, 2012

And now I shall join the ranks of fans waiting not-so-patiently for the third book in this series to come out. Come on, Kathleen Duey! You can’t leave us hanging like this! You can’t just broadcast little gems like this one:


and expect us not to explode with longing. Gah.

I haven’t felt this obsessed with a series for a very long time. This was like Harry Potter level obsession for me. It was like that level of obsession where you stare at your hardback with regret every time you have to go out and do something in real life. And you're thinking frantically, “maybe I should just take it with me. I might have two minutes to read at a stop light or…while I’m waiting for the cashier to ring up my stuff. It could happen.” Thankfully I was blessed with both the audio and the print version of this book at the same time, so really there was so reason for me to stop reading this at any point (cashier's understand hand signals and vague nodding, am I right?). I basically inhaled it in one day.

The two storylines, which I so much wanted to see intersect in the last book, still haven’t come together but in this installment I found it hard to care. I found it hard to care about any of my qualms from the first book, actually. Everything about this series is just so dark and disturbing and complicated and awesome.

In the first book, the relationship between Sadima, Franklin, and Somiss really bothered me – I couldn’t understand why Sadima would cling to her foolish hopes and stick around when clearly, nothing was ever going to change. Well, in this book there was much resolution on that front and oh, how it broke my heart. I mean, the relationship was just as disturbing and I cringed every time Sadima and Franklin spoke to each other, but it was a respectful sort of cringe – like – fair play to you, Kathleen Duey, for writing a fucked up relationship so realistically. And there’s a fantastic twist with Sadima that just made my respect for her grow by leaps and bounds. When she finally acknowledges that her hopes are nothing but wishful fantasy, she doesn’t just give up. She keeps on fighting, and she pays the price for her daring.

Meanwhile, in Hahp’s world, his thoughts are becoming even more twisted and violent as he’s subjected to years of mental and physical torture. And he’s also becoming stronger magically, but not everyone in his “class” is succeeding quite as much as he is. Unfortunately for him, the wizard teachers seem bent on highlighting and even artificially enhancing the boys' strengths and weaknesses, in an effort to increase competition and jealousy among them. Should he just watch his classmates starve and die? Or can he find a way to bring them together so that the remaining boys might survive?

Honestly, I think that Hahp’s hopes for saving everyone are just as futile as Sadima’s hopes were of saving Franklin. And I think Kathleen Duey knows that too. So many fairy tales feature young boys and girls who are isolated, starved, abused, neglected…and then somehow emerge from that life whole and kind and just, ready to be heroes in their own right. I have to really respect Kathleen Duey for acknowledging that years of torture and abuse will leave a mark, and for writing this story with that in mind. Hahp and his classmates are genuinely disturbed, and as much as they might wish to do the right thing, it remains to be seen whether they are actually capable of that anymore. I would like to believe that they are, but I think it’s going to take a great deal of effort and healing to get there. And that ending was not promising. I mean, it was completely twisted and horrifying and I loved every minute of it, but it was not promising for Hahp and his classmates.

I’m so torn about where I want this book to go and at the same time, I am loving that I have no idea where it’s headed. I want Hahp to succeed in his plan to unite the boys and I want him to break free and find a quiet place to heal. But I also want him to become a powerful magician and murder everyone who’s ever done him wrong. I want Franklin to be redeemed. I also want Franklin to die. I want Sadima to safeguard magic forever and make sure it never again falls into the wrong hands. And I also want Sadima to storm the school of magic, flanked by a whole gang of immigrant women and show Somiss exactly where he can go. I am conflicted.

But the one thing that I am genuinely not conflicted about is that I really really want book three in this series ASAP. Please?

Perfect Musical Pairing

Sarah Jaffe – Hooray For Love

Just know that I’m chuckling right now, imagining all of you doing a double-take at that song title after reading my review all about how disturbing and twisted this book is. Ha! So, obviously…when she says “Hooray For Love” in this song, she means that in the bitterest, most sarcastic sense. This is my song for the Sadima of this book, disillusioned but still strong.

Also seen on The Readventurer.
18 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Sacred Scars.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

07/27/2012 page 433
78.0% "I haven't been this obsessed with a book in a long, long time." 3 comments

Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Maya (new)

Maya hehe, when I read the first book I felt this series is like Harry Potter turned ugly and dark ^^
Glad you liked book 2 so much, I'm looking forward to reading it soon.

Catie Yeah, that's exactly what it's like! I think you'll like book two Maya.

Heidi Ah!!! So I have about 150 pages left and I CAN'T SLEEP because I can't stop thinking about this. I just can't understand Soumis's motivations for (view spoiler)

Also I'm SUPER EXCITED because it finally occurred to me that I know who Gerrard is. Or at least who's funding him and how he knows so much and what he's doing there.


Catie Did you finish it?!! I think Soumis was just trying to keep her AWAY from his plans while also treating her in one of the cruelest ways possible. He has issues...

I can't wait to finally see the two timelines come together. It's going to be worth the wait I think. I hope it comes out this year! Maybe in the fall?

message 5: by Heidi (last edited Jan 14, 2013 06:23PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Heidi Serious issues!!

I have about 50 pages left! Paused to further contemplate the ramifications of (view spoiler) THIS IS HOW MY CRAZY MIND WORKS.

I'm SO excited to see the timelines come together. I'll be honest, after the first book it never occurred to me that they would. Okay...gotta go back and finish!

Catie The ending was pretty intense, if I remember. Man...I might have to listen to this again.

I love how your crazy mind works, LOL. She'd probably run out in 200 years...

message 7: by Heidi (last edited Jan 14, 2013 07:40PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Heidi Ah!!! YES. The ending was SUPER intense. I just want to cheer and cry for EVERYONE. OMG I need book three NOW!!

The little futile hope that I had at the end of Skin Hunger has gotten so big, I don't know how to contain it.

Darian Hey, quick question. Actually two. Does Sadima get raped by those sailors after those boys steal her dress? Cause it said "they took what they could from her."? Also can you explain why her hair isn't growing after Somiss, I guess, destroys it with magic?

Kelsey Marie Does anyone think that Sabina's hair is actually linked to her memory, like Somiss took it with him when he left her in the south end?!?

And will Micah's kids end up coming back into the story?

back to top