A stand-alone fantasy from best-seller T.A. Barron.
Knife-throwing, sweets-loving Promi is a city-dwelling thief in the isolated, magical land of Ellegandia. When he decides to both humiliate and steal from the greedy, cruel and disappointingly one-dimensional villain Grukarr, Promi’s actions lead to eventual capture. Imprisoned, Promi meets a woman who bestows upon him special magic that comes with a price. A narrative shift introduces Atlanta, who discovers Grukarr is causing her beloved forest, the center of all magic in Ellegandia, to sicken. When Promi and Atlanta meet, they team up to evade Grukarr and unravel his plans, entangling themselves in an ages-old battle. Though their journey chronicles their growing bond, their adventures often feel drawn out and are further burdened with clunky dialogue, though the honest, happy ending helps to compensate. In a story set in a land inhabited by people whose “skin color ranged from deepest black to palest white and all the shades in between,” it’s a real shame that neither protagonist is explicitly described as nonwhite, particularly given the dearth of diversity in the genre.
Despite the novel’s flaws, Barron fans, as well as urban- and high-fantasy readers, may enjoy this original take on the Atlantis myth. (author’s note, map) (Fantasy. 10 & up)