Bound To Stay Bound

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 Dragon egg princess
 Author: Oh, Ellen

 Pub Year: 2020

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 244 p.,  21 cm

 BTSB No: 686912 ISBN: 9780062875792
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Adventure fiction
 Magic -- Fiction
 Thieves -- Fiction
 Princesses -- Fiction
 Good and evil -- Fiction
 Fantasy fiction

Price: $20.01

A magicless boy, a fierce bandit leader, and a lost princess must join forces to save their worlds from foreign forces and a long-forgotten evil that lurks in an ancient magical forest.

   Kirkus Reviews (12/15/19)
   School Library Journal (02/01/20)
   Booklist (02/15/20)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (00/03/20)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 02/01/2020 Gr 4–7—Three young people join forces to save a world where magic and technology uneasily coexist. In four of the Five Kingdoms, technology (internal combustion engines, automatic weapons, universal translators) is the norm, but in Joson magic still rules—except for Jiho Park and his sisters, who nullify magic. Five years after Joson's young Princess Koko disappears, the king's half-brother is attempting to usurp the throne. Desperate for work, 14-year-old Jiho takes a job with Omni Murtagh Inc, the company trying to forge a path through the Kidahara, the mysterious forest that protects Joson from the outside world. There, he and his newfound friends from all over the Five Kingdoms find themselves in a secret realm filled with magical beings, plus Princess Koko and Jiho's missing father. Koko is decidedly not human, and everyone is hunting her. Add to this the leader of a Robin Hood-esque community of bandits: 15-year-old Micah, who discovers just in time that she has become the unwitting pawn of the evil wizard Luzee, who has been pulling everyone's strings from her centuries' long imprisonment underneath a dormant volcano. Lots of action, magic, humor; a touch of family angst; and a modern feel in narration and details make this an easy sell for readers looking for plot more than character development. VERDICT Fans of "Harry Potter" and other magical tales that are rooted in the real world will find this series starter entertaining indeed.—Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 02/15/2020 Jiho descends from a line of rangers immune to magic, allowing them to patrol the magical Kidahara forest, in which, five years prior, his father disappeared—around the same time as the young princess Koko. When a political plot invites foreign, machine-wielding invaders to destroy the Kidahara, Jiho gets caught up in the forest’s magical depths, where he and the princess unite to save the royal family from being overthrown and an ancient evil from being awoken. Oh, a cofounder of We Need Diverse Books, leans on tropes in her latest middle-grade fantasy, though an infusion of East Asian–inspired world building provides some freshness. Shifting points of view prepare readers for an impending betrayal, adding strong tension to the book’s latter half, but clunky pacing throughout, along with thin characterization, detracts from the adventure in such a way that may disappoint fantasy-lovers but will nonetheless offer a fast-paced gateway—full of machine guns, magic, and shape-shifting dragons—for young newcomers to the genre. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.

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