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The Changeling King

HarperCollins. (The Estranged: Bk. 2). Oct. 2019. 256p. Tr $21.99. ISBN 9780062653901; pap. $12.99. ISBN 9780062653895.
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Gr 4-7–In Estranged, two young people learned they were switched at birth: the “Childe” grew up as the lone human in the underground fae world, while Edmund Carter, a fae, grew up with a human family above ground. Since Edmund, now known as King Cinder, took the throne in the World Below, magic has slowly started to fade from the kingdom. The young king, still new to his surroundings and finding his place, thinks often of his family above ground, where the Childe, now called Ed, is adjusting to life with the Carters. When the family’s first reunion in a year is interrupted by news of an energy that might restore magic to the kingdom, Cinder reluctantly leaves to fulfill his duties. But not wanting to be separated again from their brother and son, Cinder’s family agrees to follow, despite the danger that may lie ahead. Traveling further into the World Below than ever before, Cinder, Ed, and their family face greater trials with higher odds that leave the fate of both worlds in their hands. This work elevates everything that its predecessor did. Familiar characters have grown exponentially and have more purpose than in the previous volume. A new group of characters add more action to battle scenes, delightful dialogue, and touching moments. The pace flows with greater ease, but readers will need prior knowledge of the series and should pay close attention to follow along. Incredible, intricate watercolors flesh out the setting even further with more fantastic creatures and striking full-page landscapes.
VERDICT A strong sequel; those familiar with the series will not be disappointed and will be anxious for another volume

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