A Fistful of Sky by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
I first read A Fistful of Sky about two years ago, when it first came out. But they fooled me with the new cover and so I bought and read it again. Luckily, there is nothing to complain about in reading it again, it’s a fun story with a lot to enjoy.
This is the story of Gypsum, middle child in a family of witches who has not come into her powers. By the time she’s 20, everyone assumes that she doesn’t have any powers, and she becomes something of the Cinderella in her household. Because she doesn’t have powers, her siblings (and even her mother sometimes) boss her around and use magic to force her to do what they want her to do.
But this wouldn’t be an interesting story if that’s all there was to it, and of course, she does eventually get magical powers. But not of the sort that anyone would have ever wanted or expected. Gypsum has to learn to deal with magic after she’s all but given up on having any, and she has to deal with dangerous magic.
Hoffman takes a standard coming-of-age story and adds to it hope and wonder like you find in the best fantasy stories out there. This book is quick to read and fun to read (even the second time). The characters are interesting, and the problems they have are believable and funny. I entered into this book and was quickly lost in Gypsum’s world hoping she could find a way to deal with her problems and not be crushed beneath them.
This is the type of fantasy I love to read. I will happily buy this book again and again in order to get that same sense of wonder and joy that it brings.