Princess Mononoke meets How to Train Your Dragon in this magical middle-grade adventure from Cindy Lin, author of The Twelve, featuring a blend of East and Southeast Asian folklore and mythical creatures, and starring a boy with a hero's destiny.
Prince Jin is running out of time. He must find a monster companion before his thirteenth birthday or lose the throne completely, and that means travelling to the only place where monsters still live: the legendary, dangerous Whisper Island. But untold perils await Jin there. The magical creatures he seeks are not so easily swayed, and an even greater threat looms on the horizon--one that could threaten everything Jin hopes to achieve.
Books have no right to be this good. No right at all.
Thank you Edelweiss and Harperkids for the e-arc!
Jin is a young orphaned prince who needs to find a monster companion before his thirteenth birthday or he'll lose the claim to his throne, leaving his grandmother to rule. Facing opposition left and right, he decides to run away and find a monster all on his own. But when he arrives at Beastly, he discovers a coverup, some new friends, and a new outlook on the monsters themselves.
Jin is brave and determined and everything I love in a middle-grade book. He takes chances without thinking too far ahead which leads to some interesting situations. I love that he relies on his friends and his love for his people to get him through these tough moments. For such a young boy, he sure knows where he belongs: on the throne he was promised.
This book has a unique plot with a splash of Asian myths and lore. I loved all the creatures we get to meet and Jin's journey to understanding them. The ending was action-packed and satisfying while leaving the story open to a sequel.
I enjoyed every moment of this book! I saved it to read for Middle-Grade March and may be my favorite this month! I cannot wait to hold it in my hands (have you SEEN THE COVER??)
I do think this is an upper middle-grade book because of its word choices, but I do urge pre-teens to pick it up anyway and learn something new.