The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre

400p. HarperCollins. May 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062074669. POP
Gr 5–8—Action and adventure abound in this fantasy novel about a young woman whose life is upended when she learns the truth about her past. Set in the same world as Levine's The Two Princesses of Bamarre, but generations earlier, this story follows the struggles of 15-year-old Peregrine (Perry), the adopted daughter of the powerful Lord Tove and Lady Klausine. Perry is socially awkward but athletically gifted and craves attention from her stern Lakti parents, members of the ruling class who dole their affection out in small doses. Just before her first trip to the battlefield, Perry is visited by a fairy who tells her that she is not part of the Lakti ruling class but Bamarre born. Bamarre people are oppressed by and made to serve the Lakti, who treat them with disdain and tell stories of their weakness. When Lord Tove discovers the truth about Perry's birth, he imprisons her in a tower. Armed with magical seven league boots, Perry escapes and begins a new life. While living in disguise with her Bamarre birth parents, she resolves to rescue her newfound people from the tyranny of the Lakti, eventually sparking a rebellion. Levine plays with the "Rapunzel" story here, giving Perry magical hair and placing her in a familiar medieval setting. Despite a few moments of awkwardness in the text, the action moves along swiftly and Perry's moral awakening is ultimately satisfying.
VERDICT With its relevant commentary on race and prejudice and its strong female lead, this newest addition to Levine's oeuvre will appeal to the author's followers and fantasy fans.

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