Before the Broken Star

Skyscape/Amazon/. (Evermore Chronicles: Bk. 1). Jun. 2019. 300p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781542043786; pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781542043762.
Gr 9 Up–In this follow-up to her first fantasy series, King offers a swashbuckling adventure starring a headstrong yet damaged young woman seeking justice for the family she lost as a child. As the lone survivor of an attack on her family, Everley is driven by the desire for revenge. It takes her on a quest to find her family’s killer, the navy admiral Markham. Everley ultimately ventures to a fantastical island where she must decide whom to trust with the secrets of her past and the clockwork heart that keeps her alive. This book is especially strong in the way that it interweaves fairy tales with the real-life concerns of penal colonies and naval travels. It invites readers to question their assumptions about princes, heroes, and villains while providing a fun romp that includes sword fights, quests, sea monsters, and romance. This story recalls The Count of Monte Cristo with its quest for vengeance, though the action at the end may serve as a slight distraction from Everley’s emotional arc as a character.
VERDICT As an entertaining revision on classic fairy tales, this book is recommended for readers who enjoy adventure stories with female leads.

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