Parents' Guide to

Force of Fire: Kingdom Beyond: The Fire Queen, Book 1

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Demon-girl adventure has wackiness and heart.

Force of Fire: A Kingdom Beyond Novel Poster Image

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What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Is It Any Good?

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With high adventure, humor, and lots of fiery magic, this story inspired by West Bengal folklore will have you rooting for a truly unique demon-girl hero. As Force of Fire begins, you may not be so inclined to root for Pinki -- in fact, you may be a little confused. I mean, she enjoys classes on thievery, talks about how much she hates humans, and is an angry loner willing to make a deal with someone even more despised, the snake prince Sesha. Also, she tries to trick her mom, the goofy Ai-Ma, whom so many readers will fondly remember from the Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond trilogy.

But the way Pinki protects her cousins says a lot about what's behind those horns and fangs. She's willing to team up with a whole host of frenemies to save them and even -- gah -- dress up and attend a garden party with human royals and not eat their toes as appetizers. Through her love for her cousins, she finds closeness to others and her true fire power. She also comes to love the cause of freedom more than herself. It's the deep touches mixed with some wacky characters that keep this story surprising and worthwhile. The only real disappointment is a pat ending. It feels more like a summary of what could have been an exciting new series. And now that we're all warmed up to a certain fiery demon, it's sad to see her gone so soon.

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