From its improbable opening chase scene to its sneering, two-dimensional villains (both elements reminiscent of Disney’s Aladdin), this tale from the bestselling author of the Merlin Saga is a lightweight though occasionally gruesome romp. Set in the land of Ellegandia, which is connected to but isolated from North Africa, the story concerns Promi, a teenage thief of dubious ancestry with a near-obsession for pastry. As Barron reveals the origins of the isle of Atlantis, Promi reluctantly accepts that he is the Prophesized one, destined to save his magical land from a priesthood gone rotten and the depredations of an evil god. To do this, he teams up with Atlanta, a beautiful denizen of the Great Forest, “the very heart of Ellegandia’s natural magic”; Kermi, a sentient, blue monkeylike creature with a nasty mouth and hidden powers; and an eclectic mix of other magical beings. Barron’s fast-paced and often funny novel doesn’t offer much moral complexity, and the geography of his world feels somewhat haphazard, but it remains an inventive and entertaining story. Ages 10–up. Agent: Merrilee Heifetz, Writers House. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/03/2013 Release date: 09/26/2013 Genre: Children's
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.