National Book Award, Young People's Literature, 2006
He is a boy dressed in silks and white wigs and given the finest of classical educations. Raised by a group of rational philosophers known only by numbers, the boy and his mother, a princess in exile from a faraway land, are the only people in their household assigned names. As the boy's regal mother, Cassiopeia, entertains the house scholars with her beauty and wit, young Octavian begins to question the purpose behind his guardians' fanatical studies. Only after he dares to open a forbidden door does he learn the hideous nature of their experiments - and his own chilling role in them. The first of two volumes, this deeply provocative audiobook reimagines the past as an eerie place that has startling resonance for listeners today.
"Highly accomplished." (Booklist) "Fascinating and eye-opening....this powerful novel will resonate with contemporary readers." (School Library Journal)
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- Shelly M. Felton
YA fiction at its very best