The Star Shepherd

Sourcebooks. Sept. 2019. 320p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781492658207.
Gr 4-6–Kyro, 11, and his father have never recovered from the death of Kyro’s mother, who had been a Star Shepherd—someone tasked with finding stars that fall out of the sky, fixing them, and putting them back. Then Kyro’s father disappears on his way to warn the Star Shepherd’s Council about the excessive number of falling stars and the monsters that are attacking. This starts Kyro’s epic quest to find his father and solve the mysteries. Accompanied by his dog Cypher and later his best friend Andra, Kyro has many adventures and meets interesting, sometimes scary creatures, including spider-like monsters, iron giants, a mysteriously kind sea captain, and Pelag, the last remaining Elder who originally set the stars in the sky (along with a piece of his heart) and now searches for a way to finally die. The folkloric origin of the stars and their place in this world may be a little confusing (how do you attach stars in burlap bags to hooks in the sky? What holds up the hooks?), but the concept is intriguing, and the plot moves quickly. The twist ending suggests there may be other adventures to come.
VERDICT A pleasant steampunk-esque fantasy that should do well in larger collections.

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