Atana and the Firebird

HarperAlley. (Atana Bk. 1). Nov. 2023. 256p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9780063075924; pap. $15.99. ISBN 9780063075917.
Gr 5 Up–When Ren, a Firebird, falls to the  Earth, she meets Atana, a mermaid living in solitude away from her flock. Together they set out to explore the world but are pursued by magic hunters. They are rescued by the Queen’s guardsmen and spirited away to her castle for refuge. There, Ren agrees to aid the Queen in experiments that will help balance the Earth’s magic force. But Ren is unaware of how far the Queen will go to pursue her goal. There are many twists and turns as well as characters that emerge who are pivotal to the plot. At times, the magical worldbuilding seems vague, hard to grasp, and not integrated well. But it eventually comes together. This graphic novel adventure is clearly a set-up for future titles, though the story does come to a satisfying conclusion. The artwork, with quiet lines and subtle soft pastel colors, almost underrates the adventure and intrigue that builds in the story.
VERDICT Readers looking for a magical story will be satisfied.

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