CW: family estrangement, general scenes of violence (not graphic), and death
This book was so much fun to read! Like with the Aru Shah series, I’m always reminded that I genuinely enjoy reading middle-grade novels when I do read them. They’re always a joy for me to pick up because they don’t always have hard stuff in them and, when they do, it’s framed in a very different way than YA and adult novels.
So, this book was, as I said, a real joy for me.
It follows the story of Min, a young girl who is in a family of people with fox-magic. In this world, which is a beautiful blend of fantasy and sci-fi, fox-magic is looked down upon and distrusted. People just don’t like them, so they keep it as hidden as they possibly can. Min has a brother, Jun, who is a member of the military. They get word that he has deserted and that he is looking for something called the Dragon Pearl.
But Min isn’t convinced that he’s deserted. Her brother would never do that, after all. So, she decides to take off after him to find him and the Dragon Pearl.
The world was so much fun. I haven’t read many fantasci novels but this one is definitely my favorite. I loved the way that Lee wove in the Korean mythology (which I have no background in whatsoever) with this sci-fi world where there are spaceships and different planets and everything imaginable. It honestly was so much fun to read because the world was planned well.
The characters were also great. I loved Min. She was such a fun MC! I also loved the friends that she met and made along the way. They were so endearing to read about, which, again, was a joy for me. I also loved how a non-binary character was so seamlessly woven into the story because it was the norm. I also really loved how the book states that foxes (like Min and her family) choose their gender. Traditionally they choose to be girls, but some choose to be boys. I just really loved that kind of addition to the story. It was so normal, which was a wonderful thing to see in this.
Admittedly, some of the book didn’t enthrall me as much as I wanted. That’s why it’s four stars. But, honestly, it was just a fun middle-grade novel. Right now, it seems like this will be a standalone. Still, I’m hopeful that there will be another adventure for Min one day!
Have you read this?
What did you think?