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About the Author

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes wrote her first novel, In the Forests of the Night, when she was 13 years old. She has since published Demon in My View, Shattered Mirror, Midnight Predator, all ALA Quick Picks for Young Adults, and Snakecharm. From the Hardcover edition.


Gr 7-10-In this engaging fantasy, Danica Shardae is an avian shapeshifter. She is a princess of her people who, like the birds they become, is reserved and disciplined, yet full of passion. Her people have been at war with the serpiente, a people who shapeshift into serpent forms, for so many years that no one remembers how it all started. The hatred and bloodshed have taken a heavy toll on both sides, and Danica and Zane Cobriana, a prince among the serpiente, are determined to stop it, at any cost. He is the last of his line as is Danica and so he proposes that the avian and serpiente royalty meet at a neutral place and seek mediation to end the war. The mediator proposal-that Danica and Zane marry-is so crazy and repugnant a plan that both parties leave immediately. The young people, however, consider it in spite of the apparent lunacy, for it would mean an end to the fighting. But can they pull it off? And can they keep the dissenters among them from destroying this shred of a chance for peace? This book takes the Romeo and Juliet angle to new heights and is dealt with in a completely original way. It's a love story and a plea for peace, and an intriguing look at a world that is teeming with tension and danger and beauty. Atwater-Rhodes has created a stunning adventure that draws readers in and leaves them begging for more.-Saleena L. Davidson, South Brunswick Public Library, Monmouth Junction, NJ Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"Teens will relate to these characters and the universal themes of peer pressure, family problems, and the search for identity."--Starred, VOYA

Atwater-Rhodes (In the Forests of the Night) takes a break from vampires to create two warring clans: avians, who are human and bird, and serpiente, who are human and snake. No one remembers how the conflict began, but narrator Danica Shardae, the beautiful but tough avian leader, is tired of the bloodshed that has killed most of her family. She longs to end the war, enough to agree to choose serpiente leader Zane Cobriana as her mate, even though she has always "feared" and "hated" him. Not everyone is on board with this plan; members of both clans are critical, and both Danica and Zane have love interests among their own kind whom they must now abandon. Plus, there's a mysterious assassin among them. While the writing often comes off as overwrought, Atwater-Rhodes creates impressively complex cultures for both the avian and serpiente people. She gives each clan a mythology, distinctive fighting styles and different ways of relating to one another. Avians, for example, are known for their reserve, while the serpiente are passionate people who would never expect their leader to "choose his mate for politics." The trajectory is fairly obvious, but readers are still likely to be caught up in the details of the avian Hawk's Keep and the serpiente palace-and to wonder who is out to destroy the "fragile peace." Ages 12-up. (July) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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