cover image The Lost Books: The Scroll of Kings

The Lost Books: The Scroll of Kings

Sarah Prineas. HarperCollins, $16.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-266558-4

In this lively middle grade fantasy, an apprentice librarian discovers the true hazards of his chosen profession when he steals his deceased master’s identity and takes up the position of royal librarian, despite his lacking age, experience, and proper qualifications. Even so, 15-year-old Alex is determined to prove his abilities, and to discover just why the libraries are kept under lock and key and his fellow librarians are all elderly, secretive, and dying mysteriously. When he learns that certain books are actually alive, malicious, and fatal to the unwary reader, he enlists the aid of his new queen, Kenneret, and her headstrong, dyslexic brother, Charleren, to stop this plague of murderous manuscripts before the kingdom falls to an unexpected threat. Alex and his new allies experience a delightful level of conflict and chemistry, and Prineas (The Magic Thief) delivers a fast-paced, engaging adventure in which libraries are as deadly as any dungeon and knowledge can literally kill. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Associates. (June) Correction: A previous version of this review misidentified the book as a series opener—it is a standalone. [/em]