Debut author Arnée Flores spins an exciting and original tale about hope in even the darkest of places, perfect for fans of Shannon Hale.
The Kingdom of Lyrica was once warm and thriving, kept safe by the Firebird, whose feather and song was a blessing of peace and prosperity. But the Firebird disappeared, and Lyrica is now terrorized by the evil Spectress who wields her powers from within a volcano. All that remains is a mysterious message scrawled on the castle wall in the Queen’s own hand: Wind. Woman. Thief.
Young Prewitt has only known time without the Firebird, a life of constant cold, as his village is afraid to tempt the volcano monsters with even the feeblest fire. But he has heard whispers that the kingdom’s princess survived the attack . . . and he is certain that if he can find her, together they can save Lyrica.
Princess Calliope has no memories beyond living on her barge on the underground lake. But as she nears her twelfth birthday, she is certain there is more to life than the walls of a cave. When Prewitt finds her, he realizes that she is the missing princess: the only hope for Lyrica. Determined to decipher the meaning of her mother’s strange message and find the Firebird, Calliope and Prewitt set off on a quest that puts them in more danger than either of them ever anticipated.
This fast paced middle grade fantasy work had me hooked from the very beginning. Our MCs are two kids that live in a world that is filled with unhappiness and darkness, little do they know that they are the key to filling the world with light and hope again. For a middle grade novel the details of the plot and magic system were amazing. It was very easy to follow and I felt that I truly understood the depth of the magic system and the world that Flores has created. Prewitt and Calliope’s personalities were also perfectly matched. I enjoyed the journey that they made together and their dialogue they exchanged. Also, the evil villain in this story has a presence in every act. You can really see how the villain affected the people in this world and it made me root for our protagonists even more. I truly feel this would be a perfect read for Middle Grade fantasy readers, especially the ones that are in middle grade themselves 🙂 .
Top 5 Reasons to Read
- This is a wonderful adventure for all ages.
- Prewitt and Calliope are the perfect pair for Flores’s wonderful worldbuilding and storytelling.
- Flores presents a fantastical magic system that is easy for readers to follow
- The story is fast-paced! You are truly never bored.
- Prewitt and Calliope both have deep personalities and great character development.
Meet the Author
Arnée Flores spent her childhood shifting across rural Washington towns, lugging along boxes of books, and switching schools nine times before her family finally settled down on a wheat farm in the tiny town of Reardan, Washington.
Arnée identifies as Vietnamese American, but as a transracial adoptee raised by a Caucasian family in small-town America, she grew up feeling displaced.
It took a long while and a winding path for her to find herself. She spent a few nomadic years exploring, working odd jobs, and studying subjects from Piano Performance at Washington State University to Pre-Law and Political Science at Gonzaga before she finally understood that all she really wanted was to stay in one place and write the kinds of stories that had helped her feel safe during her chaotic childhood.
Today, she can be found collecting rocks, shells, and other curiosities on the beach near her Seattle apartment, all the while dreaming up wild and magical tales, her little white dog splashing along behind her through the tide pools.
Check out my other blog posts here!
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