cover image Atlantis Rising

Atlantis Rising

T.A. Barron. Philomel, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-399-25757-5

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.)