Reviews

Three Seeking Stars, by Avi Silver

charlielongtail's review

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fast-paced

4.75

jessicaelisa's review

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adventurous emotional mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

georgidl's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional hopeful inspiring mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

5.0

yeli_reads's review

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful inspiring reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

claudiearseneault's review

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful inspiring
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

THREE SEEKING STARS is a story about building bridges. 

There is, of course, the bridge in Ateng, left broken since the start of the  Sãoni Cycle, in Two Dark Moons. But it's also bridging the gaps created by different languages or different cultures, between the communities harmed by an invasion and a prince determined to change, between the natural and human world. This struggle to connect, to understand one another, to compromise and find balance, find a way forward, plays out over and over through the story, in countless layers and facets, between individual characters and entire communities. And it is written with incredible thoughtfulness, a refusal to reach for easy answers or flatten the people involved, making Three Seeking Stars into one of the most poignant weaving of deeply intimate characters, detailed and imaginative worldbuilding, and sweeping fantasy plots that I've been blessed to read. 

I love this book, ok? It left me with a sense of wonder, joy, and love. It's so honest and kind towards everyone's pain, so ready to add layers of complexity to already gnarly problems, so willing to be funny and sad and hopeful, sometimes all at once. Also, it's really fucking queer, and it plays with that queerness across different cultures, poking and prodding at the possibilities of it--how different gender norms bring their own structures that don't always fit, for exemple. And of course, so dear to me, are the characters being so open about aromanticism and asexuality, about their personal needs and relationships to these identities, and how it fits into the polyamorous trio that's coalescing between Sohmeng, Ahn, and Hei. 

Cannot recommend enough. I wish I could bring everyone with me in this delightful adventure. 

prairiecryptid's review

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adventurous emotional inspiring reflective medium-paced

5.0

Disclaimer: I was given an Advance Reading Copy in exchange for my honest review.

I'm in love with this book. I genuinely thought it was impossible to top Two Dark Moons, but Avi has truly done it and I'm so glad because this book touched me so profoundly in a way I haven't felt in ages (given the current state of affairs) and I'm ready to scream about it.

In the Sãoni Cycle, time is played with and presented to us in a way that reminds me of real life, and I think that's the key to the magic of Avi's writing - everything in Three Seeking Stars feels so real despite the fantastic setting. Everything hits close to home, delivered with their classic queer neurodivergent flair. There are coming of age narratives, both with Ahn trying to find his footing and establish himself as a person outside of his culture, and Sohmeng finally being looked to as an equal or even being looked up to in a way she never got when she left Ateng in 2DM, now being left to grapple with the fact that she has to step into her new role as a capable adult without ever being told how it should be done. There's Sohmeng, once again screaming to be heard as she fights for the things she loves. There's Ahn's struggle to reconcile his roles as unaware participant in and active profiteer off of the colonization, genocide, and destruction his people have brought to Eiji, and then his fight to atone and make amends for his people's crimes. And there's Hei, stretching their boundaries as far as they'll go for the family they've forged and loved, even when it gets painful for them. It's a joy to see Sohmeng and Hei from an outsider's point of view - their dynamic has grown even further, even when the events of this book strain their faith in each other and the extent to which they can give each other what they seek from their partner.

Three Seeking Stars continues to play with time as a mutable thing: we skip from time to time, from viewpoint to viewpoint, characters go back in time through memory, and the book itself, so masterfully woven, leaves me hungry for every new word and thus ends at a pace that makes me feel like I've been launched off a roller coaster, but in the best way possible. Like 2DM, it reminds me that not everything wraps up neatly, not everything has an end you're around to witness, sometimes things remain unknown because you're not there for them. And I haven't even begun to mention how it plays with Shale's commitment to language as a cornerstone of their worldbuilding - the miscommunication and the things that get lost in translation between cultures weighs heavy and genuine right from the beginning, and feels so delightfully real.

While I feel like the first half of the book got off to a bit of a clunky start, this book still struck true to me, specifically because of the times we live in. I live on stolen Indigenous land, profiting off of a system that benefits settlers and colonizers. At the same time, I've been victim of systemic and personal violence that leaves me with no desire to forgive the people who've hurt me. I've graduated college, in my early 20s, in the middle of a pandemic, having to scramble to find stability as me and my cohort scream about how we don't have the slightest clue how to be an adult. Yet I feel that this book gives voice to my frustrations and worries, validates and uplifts them, and gives me joy that I am myself. What a relief and delight it is to feel heard, to be given a YA book that so exuberantly echoes my own situation and gives me the urge to revel in the fact that I am alive and capable of being anything I could choose to be. Three Seeking Stars feels like a celebration, a catharsis, and a homecoming, and I am absolutely recommending this book if any of this resonates with you.
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