The Amethyst Road
by Louise Spiegler (Published by Clarion Books)
Nominated for Andre Norton Nebula Award for Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction in 2005
In a society similar to ours in some ways and very different in others, 16-year-old Serena and her older sister, Willow, struggle to get by in a tough, crime-infested urban neighborhood. By birth they are half Yulang, half Gorgio, but are accepted by neither race. The sisters get no help from the Yulang, because Willow’s child was born out of wedlock and the family has been declared outcast. The Gorgios are even worse, trying to take the child away.
A run-in with social services, aptly nicknamed the Cruelty, launches Serena on a journey that is at once an escape and a quest to reunite her family. With the help of a boy named Shem, who is on a quest of his own, Serena travels deep into the mountains, where precious gems are mined, and across barren plains, where white-clad Trident Riders are terrorizing anyone who is not Gorgio. Along the way, Serena finds the answers she seeks—and some she didn’t even know she was looking for.
The dynamics of racism and resistance are central themes of this modern adventure. Employing a mixture of gritty reality and richly drawn magical elements, this unique tale of selfdiscovery will captivate readers of contemporary fiction as well as fantasy fans.