The Endless Skies

Tor Teen. Aug. 2021. 304p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250302014.
Gr 8 Up–In this standout fantasy, the world is divided into the realm inhabited by humans and the realm shared by the four magical races of Vyrinterra. After a genocidal attack by the humans, the first king and queen of Leonodai used magic to raise their city of Heliana into the air to protect it from human aggression. The Leonodai are a warrior race of shape-shifting winged lions who defend the magical races, with a strict hierarchy and a creed of loyalty above all. Rowan is a Leonodai warrior-elect who has been training to join the warriors for years and only has one more night before her dream finally comes true. Rowan’s sister, Shirene, is recently promoted from a sentinel warrior to the position of King’s Voice, while Rowan’s childhood friend, Callen, another warrior, is coming to terms with an unexpected romantic development. Using multiple points of view, the story centers on the reaction of the Leonodai to a mysterious human disease that has started to kill the young in Heliana. As the story develops, Leonodai leadership decisions of the past impact the present while Price weaves the effect human technological ingenuity has on societies. As the death count rises among the Leonodai children, the tension builds as the Leonodai search for a cure while the humans attempt to overwhelm the magical realm. While relationships are at the core of this novel, Price has created an enthralling world that keeps readers engaged from the first page. Most human characters are coded as white and male.
VERDICT A wonderful read recommended for all fantasy fans, especially those who enjoy the works of Julie Kagawa, Leigh Bardugo, and Cassandra Clare.

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