The First

Harper/HarperCollins/. (Endling: Bk. 2). May 2019. 400p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062335562.
Gr 4-6–The second in Applegate’s “Endling” series continues her enchanting world-building with a cast of characters that support and bring out the best in each other. Byx, possibly the last of her magical kind, continues her journey with a pack of unlikely confederates in hopes of finding at least one other dairne like her. Dairnes always know when someone is telling the truth, and the ruling despot wants to use this to his advantage. But he also wants to controls their population. Byx’s faithful group of human and animal friends intrepidly venture through tunnels, volcanoes, and even to the depths of the sea to find a rumored colony of dairnes. Along their travels they meet different species who subvert their preconceived notions, or are experiencing abuse and enslavement in the midst of the nascent war. The strength and talents of the group are tested, sometimes violently, against magical obstacles and sharp arrows. Each member of Byx’s band has a moment of doubt regarding their ability in the face of danger, and readers will appreciate their inner and outer journeys to become heroes in their own right.
VERDICT Timely issues combine with dynamic action and charming characters in this captivating sequel. The backstory provided makes this a solid read even for those who haven’t read the first entry. Make some shelf space for multiple copies of this series

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