Ember Shadows and the Fates of Mount Never

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Pub Date 18 Aug 2022 | Archive Date 18 Aug 2022
Hachette Children's Group, Orion Children's Books

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Description

In a land trapped by fate, only courage can re-write the future.

In the magical village of Everspring, everyone receives a fate card before their twelfth birthday, sent down from the mysterious Mount Never. It tells them their purpose, their profession and how old they'll be when they die.

Nearly 12-year-old Ember Shadows has always believed she is destined for great things. But when her fate card arrives, it's blank. What does that mean? Then, worse still, her sister's card decrees she will die before her next birthday. No way is Ember's going to let that happen.

Determined to challenge what - or who - is responsible for these cards, Ember sets off up the mountain, a place no one is allowed to go. She encounters forbidden realms full of magic, trickery and curious creatures. In a thrilling race through a magical landscape, Ember Shadows must uncover the secret behind the fate cards in order to save her sister ...

But will Ember like what she finds at the top of the mountain?

With hints of Alice in Wonderland, shades of The Phantom Tollbooth and echoes of Pixar's Inside Out, this a thrilling, warm-hearted race through magical realms, a classic magical adventure, beautifully illustrated throughout.

Uncorrected Proof. Artwork not final.

In a land trapped by fate, only courage can re-write the future.

In the magical village of Everspring, everyone receives a fate card before their twelfth birthday, sent down from the mysterious Mount...


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ISBN 9781510109957
PRICE £7.99 (GBP)

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Featured Reviews

Ember Shadows is a brilliant character and I loved the premise of everyone knowing what their fates would be. I really didn't expect the story to go in the direction it did but I loved every second of it. Brilliant storytelling that was perfectly executed.
A brilliant book that Children will love!

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“It’s time to write your own fate. Your only limit is your imagination”
This is a complicated and extraordinary adventure! Completely unique and offering so much food for thought, this is already a top pick of 2022 for me. We meet a community reliant on fate cards that arrive around a child’s 12th birthday. This card cannot be destroyed or argued against, it is a firm fate for the person whose name reads across the top.
Your fate is decided and sent to you and regardless of your passions, interests or hobbies, you must align with your fate. Also printed on your card is the name of your future spouse and the age at which you will die. Met with resignation, each person must change their paths to suddenly follow the card.
Ember is days away from turning 12 and her card has arrived but she can’t show it to anyone yet and doesn’t know what to do…for her card has arrived blank!
What can it mean? She has so many questions and fears…and then her little sister’s card arrives with the number 8 etched on it. This is the deciding point for Ember- she will not lose her sister! “Life is supposed to be messy, and we aren’t supposed to have it all mapped out for us.”
What follows is the most epic adventure up Mount Never, one that has never been done before! No one dares set foot on the mountain. A certain fear is shared amongst those who live nearby, tales of missing children and scary things atop the mountain.
Along the way, Ember will find friend and foe, fear and hope and an unwavering dedication to her family and a fierce determination to succeed. Other fantastic characters, like Hans and Florence, fill this adventure with heart, friendship and an unwavering loyalty!
I could not stop reading this and feel it may just be one of the best books I have read! Having read it on Netgalley, the promised illustrations were missing so I will certainly be pre-ordering this one!

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Ember Shadows and the Fates of Mount Never is endlessly creative and a delight from beginning to end.

Every child in Ember's village receives a fate card before their twelfth birthday, detailing the course their life will take, from their future profession to the year they'll die.

Ember has always dreamed of being an inventor, but when her own fate card arrives completely blank, she suddenly has no idea what her future has in store. Worse, her younger sister is told she has only months left to live.

Determined to defy their fates, Ember sets off where no one has ever gone before: up Mount Never itself. What follows is a magical adventure that will test Ember at every turn. Can she make it to the top in time to save her sister? And what will she find when she gets there?

This novel has such a fantastic premise. It explores big ideas about fate and choice in a way younger readers will understand and by fascinated by - imagine spending your entire childhood planning to be a baker, only to be told by a card that you'll spend your life fishing instead! By its end, it also celebrates the endless possibilities of life.

Ember is a superb character. She's brave. She's hard on herself. She's single-minded and has to learn how to accept help. She's a great sister. Most importantly of all, she grows naturally over the course of the novel.

I was very lucky to have completed my MA alongside Rebecca King and got a glimpse of this novel in its earliest form. Hans made such an impression that I spent the first few chapters waiting eagerly for him to arrive and he did not disappoint! He was immediately charming and I loved getting to go on this adventure with him. He is also very funny - as is the rest of this book, which made me laugh out loud on numerous occasions.

There was lots of clever world building: Messy Middles, a Garden of Gifts and sinister origami birds (which I could picture so clearly). This would make a brilliant kids adventure film. There's so much going on and some wonderful characters.

I was provided with an advanced copy for review and, as stated above, I do know the writer, but this review is very much my honest opinion on this amazing book! I cannot recommend it enough.

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I loved this.

I suppose this is a dystopian novel in some ways, but the basic plot is very original unlike many in this genre. People in Ember’s world are assigned their fate on a card which issues from Mount Never. When Ember receives a blank card she keeps it a deadly secret. Things get even worse when her sister Jupiter receives a fate card, which sets out she will die before her next birthday.

To save her sister, Ember sets off on a voyage through the realms of Mount Never. It is a magical fantastical journey full of really imaginative elements and moments of great peril. The story is wonderfully visual and I could see it all quite clearly in my mind. The characters Ember meets on the way are beautifully drawn. Hans is a total delight! I didn’t guess the twist in the tale when we find out who is behind the fate cards (I thought it would be someone else entirely).

This story totally deserves five stars. It is brilliantly written, funny and imaginative. The book blurb compares it to Pixar’s Inside Out and I think that is a really good comparison. There is the same spirit, warmth and humanity here that makes Inside Out such a wonderful film.

I do have one complaint – I really want to see the artwork!

Thank you to the publishers for the advance copy. I enjoyed it so much.

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In Everspring, where everyone's destiny is decided by a fate card falling from the top of a mountain, Ember will not accept the threat of her and her sister's fate. Armed with her dad's tools and his message of hope: ‘Your only limit is your imagination', she begins to climb Mount Never, determined to save her sister and change things for the population subdued by fear. But she is carrying a great load, the Jungian shadow of survivor's guilt and grief; and the antagonist she encounters is a terrible reminder of who she could become if she does not change too.

What an amazing read! Ember's quest was so heartfelt and playful and bursting with inspiration. I was constantly thinking as I read and had so many questions. The set-ups and pay-offs were all there and the sense of excitement. But it was the emotion that drove it for me and Ember's motivation. It reminded me of Alice in Wonderland (which it references) and The Faaraway Tree with its fantastical elements, like the talking clock hands and bookworm and sinister, origami spy birds, - yet with stronger psychological ideas and more heart. It really does have the makings of a classic and can be read on so many levels: an exciting, pacy coming-of-age adventure, a song of resilience, a stand against dogma and oppression. I LOVED IT! Rebecca King is such an intuitive writer with a sense for what will stir the hearts and minds of her readership.

The book is so full of questions about life and what it means to be human; about destiny and free-will. There are suspenseful cliffhangers as Ember battles self-doubt and the clock and learns through failure. But as well as a quest through magical realms to the top of the mountain, it is journey of acceptance, a story of the strength of sibling love and of self-love; the power of friendship to conquer grief and guilt. And though there are plenty of external supporters and tools, Ember does not get inspiration from any magical potion. Her talents come from herself, inspired by her love.

I love the whole strength of the idea of the fluidity and freedom of personal choice and not being told by others what we should be, as we search for identity: ‘There are people like yourself who never stop dreaming' and the sentiment: ‘But your deepest, darkest fear, that’s the one that keeps you up at night, the one that defines who you are. Only when you face that fear can you possibly hope to stand up to everything else.’

The final reveal brought tears to my eyes. But Florence the owl's words of wisdom will stay with me: ‘The world is full of problems; it always has been, and it always will be. But you know what the world isn’t full of? People who try to make a difference.’

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