|Beasts of prey|
Author: Gray, Ayana
Sixteen-year-old indentured beastkeeper Koffi and seventeen-year-old warrior candidate Ekon forge an unusual alliance and venture into the Greater Jungle to hunt down a monster that has been menacing their city for a century.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 5.50
Points: 19.0 Quiz: 513959
The Hornbook (00/11/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2021 *Starred Review* In this exciting fantasy with clever storytelling narrated through three perspectives, Gray explores three young people who have to make life-changing decisions. Adiah is a powerful daraja, someone who is able to serve as a conduit for natural magic, or splendor. When a handsome stranger comes to town, she finds that she is being tested to push her magic further. A century later, Koffi is an indentured servant at a menagerie, along with her mother. One fateful night, Koffi finds herself in front of Ekon, a young man who is on the verge of being inducted as a sacred warrior. Both Ekon and Koffi realize that capturing the legendary and deadly Shetani creature will help them get ahead in life, so they team up and enter the Greater Jungle, a land of magic and dangerous monsters. Together, they solve the mystery behind the Greater Jungle and why so many people suffer the Shetani’s deadly attacks. Gray’s debut is a thrilling series opener with twists and turns that will delight. Hints about more expansive world building to come will entice readers to pick up future volumes in this must-buy for fantasy enthusiasts. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 09/01/2021 Gr 9 Up—Sixteen-year-old Koffi yearns to be free of her family's indentured life as beast keepers at the Night Zoo—a menagerie filled with terrifying magical creatures and run by the cruel, selfish master of the Night Zoo, Baaz. Ekon wants only to uphold his family's legacy of being elite warriors—members of the famed Sons of Six—but on the night of his final test, a fire at the Night Zoo changes everything for both of them. Ekon is stripped of his chance to be a warrior and Koffi, who was so close to freedom, is given a lifetime of indenture. In a desperate attempt to gain not only her own freedom but that of the people she loves, she makes a bargain with Baaz—she will capture the Shetani, a fearsome creature that has held their village captive for nearly a century, and bring it back to the Night Zoo. Meanwhile Ekon, desperate to prove his worth as a warrior, decides that the best way to regain his honor is to kill the creature that has been terrorizing his village. As reluctant partners on similar quests, Koffi and Ekon venture deep into the Greater Jungle. The stakes have never been higher and with each brush with death they learn far more about themselves and their world than they ever imagined. With its memorable characters, and a lush, expansive world, Gray's debut is an action-packed adventure that will tug at hearts and keep teens glued to the page, yearning for more. VERDICT Essential for all collections.—India Winslow, formerly at Cary Memorial Lib., Lexington, MA - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.