Echoes and Empires

Penguin/Razorbill. (Echoes and Empires: Bk. 1). Jan. 2022. 400p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593351659.
Gr 8 Up–Seventeen-year-old Josslyn Drake aims to maintain her glamorous social media presence, sport the best clothing, and continue to impress the queen. On the one-year anniversary of her father’s assassination, she surprises everyone by attending the Queen’s Gala. At the event, she is exposed to a piece of stolen art that places the magic memories of the darkest warlock, whom she believes killed her father, within her. While on a lavish shopping spree with her best friend, the handsome thief she encountered at the Gala kidnaps her, hoping to rid her of the magic and contain it for his boss. The two embark on an adventure, where they grow closer together despite the dark history between them. The worldbuilding will appeal to teenagers, as themes of acceptance among social media peer groups and desire to please adults permeate the text. Readers will enjoy the sarcastic tone and flirtatious banter between Joss and Jericho. Unexpected twists and turns coupled with an exciting plot keep this longer novel moving quickly. Deep character development coupled with the crafting of complex, interesting relationships will keep readers yearning for more at the end of the text.
VERDICT This must-read book will convert readers who avoid fantasy titles and should be available in libraries for leisure reading.

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