Mortal Sight by Sandra Fernandez Rhoads

Secrets, shadows, and Milton’s Paradise Lost are woven together in a new YA fantasy.

Mortal Sight by Sandra Fernandez Rhoads. Enclave Publishing, 2020. 304 pages.

Reading Level: Young Adult, ages 16 and up

Recommended For: Ages 16 and up

Cera is tired of running. Tired of the strange life she lives, punctuated for the past 10 years by an epileptic fit prompting a move each birthday.  This year she’s going to put her foot down. But then she realizes there’s more to her fits —more to the shadows she thinks she sees— and a whole other world her mom has been hiding from her. Or has her mom been hiding her from it?  Befriended by another “Awakened” teen, able to see beyond the mortal realm, Cera dives into her new life, intent on vengeance against the shadows that have haunted her. 

Cera is a tempestuous and slightly immature heroine. While her one-track mind is grating at times, the story is fast-paced and interesting with almost a synesthete’s description of places and colors. In addition, passages and verses from Milton’s Paradise Lost are woven deftly into the story. Refreshing in YA, there is no swearing and only mild romance. Here is a good alternative to other contemporary and edgy urban fantasy, such as Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones. Hopefully a sequel will come along soon!


  • Fantasy violence
  • Supernatural (creepy shadow beings)

Overall Rating: (4) out of 5

  • Worldview/Moral Rating: (4) out of 5
  • Literary/Artistic Rating: (3.5) out of 5

Note: This reviewer received an advance reader copy of the book in exchange for a fair review. 

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Born in a library and raised by books, or rather, raised by a book-loving family, Hayley loves talking and writing about books. She lives in the middle of Wisconsin and works with children as well as with coffee.

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