The Dragon Egg Princess

HarperCollins. Mar. 2020. 256p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062875792.
Gr 4-7–Three young people join forces to save a world where magic and technology uneasily coexist. In four of the Five Kingdoms, technology (internal combustion engines, automatic weapons, universal translators) is the norm, but in Joson magic still rules—except for Jiho Park and his sisters, who nullify magic. Five years after Joson’s young Princess Koko disappears, the king’s half-brother is attempting to usurp the throne. Desperate for work, 14-year-old Jiho takes a job with Omni Murtagh Inc, the company trying to forge a path through the Kidahara, the mysterious forest that protects Joson from the outside world. There, he and his newfound friends from all over the Five Kingdoms find themselves in a secret realm filled with magical beings, plus Princess Koko and Jiho’s missing father. Koko is decidedly not human, and everyone is hunting her. Add to this the leader of a Robin Hood-esque community of bandits: 15-year-old Micah, who discovers just in time that she has become the unwitting pawn of the evil wizard Luzee, who has been pulling everyone’s strings from her centuries’ long imprisonment underneath a dormant volcano. Lots of action, magic, humor; a touch of family angst; and a modern feel in narration and details make this an easy sell for readers looking for plot more than character development.
VERDICT Fans of “Harry Potter” and other magical tales that are rooted in the real world will find this series starter entertaining indeed.

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