This Korean mythology–inspired adventure follows a teenager whose family legacy of magical nullification draws him into the schemes of those looking to exploit his home’s resources. In Joson, a kingdom where magic holds strong despite other countries’ technological advances, 14-year-old Jiho Park struggles with the expectation that he become a ranger like his paternal ancestors and protect the Kidahara, especially since his father voluntarily walked into the supernatural forest five years ago and never returned. Desperate to help his beleaguered family, Jiho agrees to serve as a guide for Omni Murtagh, a foreign company intent on razing the forest in the name of modernity—little realizing their even darker agenda. On the trail, Jiho must join a long-missing princess and the Kidahara’s inhabitants to save the land. The world Oh conjures is populated by diverse and fanciful characters, but the juxtaposition of Jiho’s secluded homeland and the modern trappings of the outside world is less effective than one might hope. Slight characterization and inconsistent pacing lead to a hasty climax and abrupt conclusion. Nevertheless, this enjoyable read should appeal to fantasy fans. Ages 8–12. Agent: Marietta B. Zacker, Gallt & Zacker Literary. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/09/2020 Release date: 03/01/2020 Genre: Children's
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