A resilient and self-reliant young princess must save her kingdom from nefarious forces in the first installment of a new chapter-book series.
Princess Jesireen’s parents, King Willem and Queen Eris of East Waveborn, and her older sister, Princess Alex, have been called away, leaving Jes in the care of a stranger called Lady Umber. If “anything comes up” while the king and queen are away, this stern, sharp-featured woman will rule as regent. When Jes discovers Lady Umber’s plot to assassinate the royal family, the intrepid 9-year-old springs into action. She can’t allow this evil woman to control her country! As Jes meets with royal children from the other Waveborn islands, she finds out the other kings and queens are dead and have been replaced with regents—all of whom, although their names differ, look and sound like Lady Umber. Who’s behind this plan to take over the islands? A short-tempered, physically active princess in boy’s clothing; a woman pirate–turned-housekeeper; a just and democratic monarchy; and energy produced by volcanic steam—this ambitious chapter book packs a punch. The character development and neatly structured world with a fleshed-out history are accompanied by lots of action and humor. Most characters, including Jes, her family, and Lady Umber, are assumed white; Jes’ booby-trap–happy fellow royal, Princess Amalia, has brown skin, as does Jes’ parents’ airship captain.
Here’s hoping new books will arrive before the current intended audience moves on to larger tomes. (Fantasy. 6-10)