What I’m Reading: Broken Angel

I read Broken Angel by Sigmund Brouwer quite awhile ago, but it’s worth a short review.

For those unfamiliar with Sigmund Brouwer, I grew up reading his books. His Winds of Light series for kids is about “wizards,” Merlins and druids, who use little known technologies and poisons to battle for control of medieval Europe. Brouwer is a very creative writer, and Broken Angel is definitely no exception.

Broken Angel is about a dystopian future America that has splintered into several smaller countries. A young girl is being chased by bounty hunters determined to kill her. It’s more of a thriller than a sci-fi novel, delving into her complicated relationship with her father, his secret past, and a dangerous secret about herself that even she doesn’t know.

Unfortunately, I saw within the first few minutes what the end of the novel would be. It lessened my interest a bit, but I still enjoyed exploring the theocratic legalistic world of Appalachia. Brouwer spends extensive time developing her psychology, which I appreciated, and he delves into her relationship with her father and her confusion at his sudden abandonment.

Several themes are woven throughout the story, but the one I kept noticing was the importance of knowledge. The people of Appalachia do not know how to read and only know what their government and priests tell them about God and the world. This is a theme that Brouwer seems to stick to. In the Winds of Light series, the wizards are only successful because of the ignorance around them. They are powerful because they can read and learn. Brouwer is also a literacy and “get kids reading” advocate, in case you were wondering.

It’s a quick and easy read with thought-provoking themes and a unique setting. I’d recommend it for a quiet weekend.


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