FICTION

Estranged

illus. by Ethan M. Aldridge. 224p. HarperCollins/Harper. Aug. 2018. Tr $21.99. ISBN 9780062653871; pap. $12.99. ISBN 9780062653864.
COPY ISBN
Gr 4–6—Edmund, a fae, was switched at birth with a human Childe. Now living in the World Above, Edmund must keep his magic powers hidden from his human family, with whom he has never fit in, while the Childe, in the World Below, is the fae king and queen's royal pet. But when an evil sorceress threatens the crown, the Childe escapes above ground and enlists Edmund's help to save the World Below. The pair must traverse the dangerous underground realm of monsters, beasts, and dark magic to protect both their worlds. This switched-at-birth, coming-of-age fantasy doesn't break new ground, but it's executed well. Themes such as finding one's place and meeting friends and family in unexpected ways will speak to middle grade readers. Each location has a distinct style, color, and feel that give the surrounding characters depth, suggesting that this is just one story in a world of many. Small details in the backgrounds and hints in dialogue amplify the sense of mystery.
VERDICT Worthy of inclusion in any fantasy collection.

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