Last Gate of the Emperor (Last Gate of the Emperor #1)

Kwame Mbalia and Joel Makonnen. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-338-66585-7
Inspired by the history and lore of Ethiopia, this cinematic space adventure introduces 12-year-old Yared Heywat as he fights to protect those he loves after learning stunning secrets about his world and himself. In the bustling city of Addis Prime, Yared, his uncle Moti, and bionic lioness Besa live under the radar, often moving suddenly, though Moti won’t explain why. It’s a lonely life, but rebellious Yared finds community and glory in an illegal augmented-reality game; he’s the number-two player, beaten only by a girl known as the Ibis. When Yared is forced to compete under his real name, Addis Prime is immediately swarmed by high-tech monsters and brutal soldiers—all of whom are looking for Yared. As Uncle Moti’s fables about the lost space empire of Axum and the evil Werari empire begin to come to life, Yared and rival-turned-ally Ibis fight to escape the city and uncover the truth about Yared’s family roots. In this fast-paced, Afrofuturist homage to Ethiopia, Mbalia (Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky) and Ethiopian prince Makonnen craft an enthralling tale of resilience, family, and bravery that will entertain young sci-fi lovers. Ages 8–12. Agents: (for Mbalia) Patrice Caldwell, New Leaf Literary; (for Makonnen) Jesseca Salky, Lyons & Salky Law. (May)
Reviewed on : 03/18/2021
Release date: 05/04/2021
Genre: Children's
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