FICTION
Scales & Scoundrels: Vol 1; Into the Dragon's Maw
illus. by Galaad & Jeff Powell. 144p. Image. Feb. 2018. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781534304826.
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Gr 5 Up-Luvander is a treasure hunter who usually cares only about herself but occasionally is moved to help others. She has already been accused of a list of crimes, including highway robbery and "general scoundrelness." When she rescues a young prince and his party from a group of bandits, her life changes. The prince was on a quest to find the legendary Dragon's Maw, which supposedly contains amazing treasures. Character development is excellent. Though fierce, sarcastic, and quick-witted, secretive Lu is also vulnerable. Secondary characters are flawed and nuanced, resulting in an engaging story that will keep readers guessing, especially as the journey becomes more dangerous, promising to continue in future volumes. The artwork, well suited to this exciting fantasy story, is filled with cartoony action and plenty of color.
VERDICT An imaginative and fast-paced roller-coaster of a story. For fans of fantasy, adventure, and tales of the unexpected.-Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library

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