|Beast & crown (Beast & crown)
Author: Ross, Joel N.
In book one of the series, Ji gets fed up with his life as a boot-cleaning servant and risks everything for a chance to accompany a young nobleman to the Diadem Rite, a magical ritual that chooses the heir to the Summer Crown. What Ji doesn't know is that he and his friends have a dangerous part to play in the Diadem Rite. One that will change them forever.
|Accelerated Reader Information:
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 197930
Kirkus Reviews (-) (06/15/17)
School Library Journal (04/01/17)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/07/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 04/01/2017 Gr 4–7—Working as a boot boy is just as dirty and lowly as it sounds, and Ji dreams of a way to escape his life of servitude. However, his job is a cakewalk compared to that of his best friend Sally's little brother Chibo, who is a tapestry weaver, a terrible fate for a servant. Ji has been collecting precious metals and gems from the boots of the wealthy and replacing the valuables with fakes. He hopes that once he has saved up enough, he can somehow get to the city to sell the goods and buy Chibo's freedom and ensure his own. Ji sees an opportunity when the baroness's nephew, Brace, goes to the city to participate in the Diadem Rite, a chance to win the Summer Crown and rule the land. Ji, Sally, and the house governess Roz concoct a plan, but there are goblins, ogres, and evil grown-ups around every corner. Freeing Chibo soon becomes the least of their problems. While the plot at times feels like a recycled mishmash of several recent best sellers, it still moves at a breakneck pace and has enough creative elements to keep readers engaged. Ji and his gang are hard not to love, and the twist is one readers won't see coming. The ending is satisfying but leaves just enough room to make this the beginning of a new series. VERDICT A solid fantasy adventure with several laugh-out-loud moments; a worthwhile purchase for most middle grade collections.—Mandy Laferriere, Fowler Middle School, Frisco, TX - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.