Silke hopes to learn the fates of her missing parents in this companion to The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart (2017).
Refugee Silke’s a bold, adventurous, cross-dressing 13-year-old who loves Drachenburg. And though she won’t admit it, she loves her friends who feel like family at the Chocolate Heart, including her dragon-turned-girl best friend, Aventurine—especially since she and her older brother have grown apart since her parents’ disappearance in Elfenwald six years ago. Silke’s narration captures a sadness that’s only partially camouflaged by her swaggering demeanor. One day, in order to save Aventurine from a mob, braggart Silke claims to work for the crown princess. The next day, the princess’s guards come for her…but Princess Katrin doesn’t want to punish Silke, she wants her to spy: After a century underground, a delegation from magical Elfenwald is coming to Drachenburg, and the princess wants to know why—and Silke sees an opportunity to solve her parents’ mystery. Silke tries to fit in at court as a royal cousin, but being a proper lady-in-waiting isn’t determined Silke’s forte, and soon her wits are put to the test when all of Drachenburg is endangered. Lovable and frustrating, black-presenting Silke’s an entirely believable character; supporting characters are equally well-drawn, and Burgis’ world is a robustly diverse one.
As with the first book, the fantasy hijinks are tempered with depth for a story that’s sweet but not saccharine. (Fantasy. 10-14)