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Parents' Guide to


By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Violent Latinx fantasy has magic but falls flat in places.

Book Maya Motayne Fantasy 2019
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Author Maya Motayne's debut novel shows promise, especially when it comes to magical action and building to an exciting finish, but some areas unfortunately fall flat or quickly become tiresome. The storytelling itself and the map of the world make it hard to avoid thinking of equivalents in the real world (OK, so Castallan is South America, and Englass is ...) that take away from a sense of originality. And having characters use the word "maldito" over and over isn't a very effective way to inject Latinx flavor into the story.

That being said, Motayne has created a vast, deep, and believable world. She skillfully explores the abusive relationship between Finn and Ignacio, which is a good place to start talking about how and why others have so much power over how we see ourselves. Fantasy fans who can handle some gore and intense fantasy violence will enjoy the suspense leading up to the final confrontation; the strong, positive Latinx representation; and the bittersweet developments.

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