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Book review: 'Spinning Starlight' is a sci-fi retelling of 'Wild Swans'
"Spinning Starlight" is by R.C. Lewis. - photo by Rosemarie Howard
"SPINNING STARLIGHT," by R.C. Lewis, Hyperion, $17.99, 327 pages (f) (ages 13 and up)

Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis is an interplanetary sci-fi retelling of The Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen.

Soon-to-be heiress of a technology empire that spans seven worlds, 16-year-old Liddi Jantzen, the youngest of nine children, is in trouble. Her eight brothers have not been seen for several days, which is highly unusual. Liddi discovers they are trapped in interplanetary conduits, and she is the only one who can save them but she must do it without using her voice and in a foreign world, relying on the kindness of others, including a dignitary named Tiav.

Liddi does not speak for more than 80 percent of the book, but readers hear and see the story through her eyes. Flashbacks of childhood memories that provide important background information about Liddi and her family are effectively interspersed between chapters.

Although there is a romance, the story focuses on the importance of family, honesty and true friendship. Refreshingly, the romantic relationship portrayed develops after trust and friendship are established and does not go beyond kissing.

There is some violence, including an incident in which a person being trampled by a crowd is described, but there is no swearing or other foul language.

Intended for a young adult audience, the book is an engaging, well-told story that features a strong heroine.

Born in San Francisco and raised in Utah, Lewis teaches high school math. She's also the author of Stitching Snow, which was published in 2014.