Book Review: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Book Review: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Neil Gaiman’s Stardust meets John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars in this fantasy about a girl caught between two worlds... two races…and two destinies.

Title: Magonia   
Series: Magonia #1
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Sale Date: April 28th 2015
Age: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 320 
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: ARC from Publishers
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Buy: Amazon 
Add to: Goodreads

Aza Ray is drowning in thin air. 

Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live. 

So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn't think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia. 

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?


Dear Magonia,

I’ve kept you like a hidden secret, locked tight in my heart. I’m not sure if I should share you nor my feelings, afraid that if I release them into
air, they may take flight and leave me empty and bereft of your wonder.

"Out of the air above me, I hear a cry like only one thing I’ve heard before, a damaged Opera, a sweetness so high and bright it hurts, discordant and ferocious, desolation and love twined into song.”

Magonia sweeps the reader into a world mirrored above ours where the sky holds ships whose “sails are made of hum and speed.” Where Stormsharks and Squallwhales mingle. There, in an ocean of sky you’ll find blue-skinned Magonians and sword carrying Pirates clashing like waves. There Tsunamis rise out of singing - waves form from the air, breathed into existence. Ah, how I fell under your siren’s song. Heartbirds, lungs and hinges all.

Defiant Aza Ray who is drowning on our Earthly plain, only to be rescued into the clouds. From human girl with an unknown and rare condition that fills her lungs like watery graves to something free and soaring-breathing and powerful. Magical. Where a Changeling and Magonian meet. Can the power of friendship, love and family triumph. Power plots and kingdoms up high, lowly realms upon the green threatened.

“Inside my chest, I feel a weird rattle and then there’s something I can’t explain, a giant gap, inside my lungs. The little yellow bird looks me in the eyes. I cough."

"Got her, sings the yellow bird. I can feel it in my left lung. Got her. I’m in. We’re ready.”

This is, but a taste you have carved upon a sheet of paper, I felt tears drop and splatter as I cried with your frustration and sadness then soar high at your new found freedom. But, a price had to be paid. To save yourself, would you lose all that you once loved?

Maria Dahvana Headley pens a tale that I loved. I will look to the skies when next the thunder rolls and hope to see ships sailing and runged ladders descending so I might climb aboard. 

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