cover image 5 Worlds: The Sand Warrior

5 Worlds: The Sand Warrior

Mark Siegel and Alexis Siegel, illus. by Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller, and Boya Sun. Random House, $12.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-101-93588-0

In a dazzling interplanetary fantasy from the Siegel Brothers, artists Bouma, Rockefeller, and Sun bring to life the cultures, customs, and creatures of a lively new world that will easily appeal to fans of Naruto or Avatar: The Last Airbender. Oona Lee’s older sister, Jessa, was their planet’s most promising sand dancer before she disappeared; awkward Oona can’t even control the sand figures she summons. Their planet, Mon Domani, is beset by cascading environmental crises, and Oona and her classmates are meant to help light an ancient beacon that may bring the galaxy back into balance. But Toki, a rival moon, chooses this moment to attack. In the chaos, Oona finds two allies—An Tzu, a fiercely loyal thief from the planet’s slums, and Jax Amboy, a sports superstar—who recognize gifts in Oona that she doesn’t see. Explosions, attacks, and evildoing are relieved by neatly timed interludes in tranquil settings. The main characters share an unglamorous, pre- adolescent look, and the authors seize the opportunity to explore issues of race, class, and scarcity. Readers will be all too ready for the planned subsequent books. Ages 8–12. (May)