I’m very happy with the number of March releases that I’ve managed to read and review so far! Especially since so many released on March 3rd. This one is a middle grade fantasy (possibly standalone) that I requested from HarperCollins.
This was a quick read that held my interest all the way to the end. It’s a wonderful middle grade read that I think the target audience will love. Adults reading this one might find that it does more telling than showing, especially where complex emotions are involved.
I found it fun that this book also had a firebird take part in the narrative-although briefly. Seems like a theme. And I love it! I also enjoyed the emphasis on friend and family relationships. And the idea that someone might make bad decisions followed by good ones doesn’t make them good or evil. Just human.
I think this might be a planned standalone, and it works like one. But, if the author did write another book in this world or with these characters, I would certainly read it.
In a kingdom filled with magic, Jiho Park and his family are an anomaly—magic doesn’t affect them.
Jiho comes from a long line of forest rangers who protect the Kidahara—an ancient and mysterious wood that is home to powerful supernatural creatures. But Jiho wants nothing to do with the dangerous forest.
Five years ago, his father walked into the Kidahara and disappeared. Just like the young Princess Koko, the only daughter of the kingdom’s royal family. Jiho knows better than anyone else the horrors that live deep in the magical forest and how those who go in never come back.
Now the forest is in danger from foreign forces that want to destroy it, and a long-forgotten evil that’s been lurking deep in the Kidahara for centuries finally begins to awaken. Can a magic-less boy, a fierce bandit leader, and a lost princess join forces and save their worlds before it’s too late?