A Thousand Steps into Night by Traci Chee

A Thousand Steps into Night by Traci Chee, Clarion, 2022. 9780358469988

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: Hardcover

Genre: Fantasy

What did you like about the book? 17-year-old Miuko is kissed by a demon while walking home causing a blue spot to appear on her skin signaling the beginning of becoming a demon herself.  Her father shuns her seeing her already as a demon, no longer his daughter.  Fortunately she meets Geiko, a shift-changer, sometimes magpie, sometimes boy, who agrees to accompany her to the House of December where hopefully the priests will be able to remove the curse before it takes hold completely.  She is captured on the way there by Tujiyazai, a malevolent spirit who wants to possess her.  Saved by Geiko in his bird form, she makes it to the House of December but the priests are unable to remove the curse.  Still not free, her body has become almost completely blue.

The time in which Miuko lives is anything but welcoming for women who cannot own property and have no rights whatsoever.  This world-building story is fascinatingly immersive.

Anything you did not like about the book?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book? I would recommend this story to those who like intricate mythological fantasy filled with Japanese spirits and demonology, a main character that you cannot help rooting for, lots of action, suspense and humor.

Who should buy this book? Middle school, high school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it? J and YA Fiction

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Yes.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Contributor, Youth Services Book Review

Date of Review:  May 25, 2022

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