cover image A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying

A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying

Kelley Armstrong. Puffin Canada, $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-7352-6535-6

As the oldest child, Rowan, 12, has always known she’d be Queen, but she envies her twin brother, Rhydd, who is in line to become Royal Monster Hunter (but would make a better consort). Nevertheless, she spends her time learning about myriad creatures. However, after their Aunt Jannah is slain in a gryphon attack, just as their father was, and Rhydd is badly injured, Rowan must step into the role she’s always dreamed of fulfilling. Accompanied by a jackalope and an enormous wolf, Rowan sets out to find the person who can help train her for the monumental task ahead: to fight and slay the gryphon. As she forges unlikely friendships and alliances, she develops a growing understanding of her weighty responsibility to her people while seeking to understand and respect the monsters she hunts, doing as little harm as possible. Weaving in themes of family, duty, and conservation, YA author Armstrong (the Darkness Rising trilogy) offers a gripping middle grade debut in an imaginative fantasy world populated by fascinating creatures. Readers will hope that there is more planned for Rowan and her growing entourage of monsters and misfits. A monster field guide concludes. Ages 10–14. [em](Aug.) [/em]