Sir Callie and the Dragon’s Roost

Labyrinth Road. (Sir Callie: Bk. 2). Nov. 2023. 416p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593485811.
Gr 3-7–This fantasy sequel to Sir Callie and the Champions of Helston is just as exciting as the first, and begins a few months later. Nonbinary Callie, 12, is now a page, and Prince Willow, 12, is expected to soon take the reins of power of Helston. Magic-wielding Elowen and her brother Edwyn are recovering from their banished father’s physical and emotional abuse. Soldiers from Helston are attacked and killed in neighboring Dumoor, and Teo, a Dumoor shapeshifting human-dragon who uses xe/xem/xir pronouns, is captured. After Edwyn is outed to the court for being able to do magic, a practice boys are now reluctantly permitted, the distrustful Queen imprisons him and Elowen, and Edwyn is tortured. Callie and Willow rescue them and Teo, and they flee to Dumoor across Helston’s bridge, pursued by the Helston soldiers. Callie and Elowen’s growing relationship is threatened by Elowen’s burning desire for revenge against Helston. Secrets are exposed, alliances tested, and heartbreak endured as the shocking ending guarantees more adventures. The intersectional cast that cues as white are fully realized, especially stubborn and determined Callie, as each character struggles to be found worthy and have agency in a world where adults erroneously believe they know best. (Author’s note includes content warning.) 
VERDICT This page-turning second book in a rousing fantasy series that’s both an action-packed adventure and psychological study of young people persevering despite tremendous odds.

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