cover image Elf Realm: The Low Road

Elf Realm: The Low Road

Daniel Kirk, . . Amulet, $18.95 (498pp) ISBN 978-0-8109-7069-4

In his debut novel, picture book author/artist Kirk (Library Mouse ) delivers a complicated magical tale, the first installment of a projected trilogy. The veil between the elfin world and the human world has grown thin, and with humans cutting down forests to build houses and subdivisions, the elf community begins to lose its battle to keep its secrets. Two children, Matt and Becky—whose developer father is poised to destroy the trees that protect the elfin city of Alfheim from discovery—stumble upon a long-lost sacred wedding shoe that elfin royalty desperately wants back. The fate of the elves becomes intertwined with that of Becky and Matt, who must decide if they are willing to risk everything to save this magical realm. Without sacrificing plot for message, Kirk offers a subtle critique of the ways humanity mistreats the planet. His illustrations add an otherworldly beauty to what is otherwise a light, playful (if not a tad long) tale. Ages 10–up. (Oct.)