So I’m setting some modest goals here with only four books, if I get to read more, that’s wonderful. I don’t well, at least I’m on track for my goals for the year.
The Dragon Egg Princess
This is a short middle grade by #WeNeedDiverseBooks co-founder Ellen Oh, the book draws inspiration from Korean lore and culture. Jiho Park is just trying to get by, in a kingdom filled with magic, he and his family are immune to its effects but that doesn’t make his life easy.
Since his father disappeared into the Kidahara, a powerful ancient forest, five years ago Jiho wants nothing to do with his family legacy of being a forest ranger and protecting the Kidahara. Jiho has lost too much and knows all too well about the dangers the forest holds and how those who go in don’t come back, like his father and the only daughter of the royal family Princess Koko.
But when Jiho agrees to help foreign forces access the Kidhara to get money, he needs for his family to survive, he finds out that a long-forgotten evil that’s been lurking deep in the Kidahara is starting to wake up again.
But how can a magic-less boy, a bandit leader, and lost princess join forces and save the world before it’s too late?
This is an excellent book about selective mutism In an article I will link below Collins talks about the difference and confusion between traumatic and selective mutism and how selective mutism simply isn’t the one with the condition refusing to speak.
Elise has selective mutism, though she doesn’t have the words for it, she just knows she must not speak or she has to stress over every conversation that she had, everything that’s happened. So she carries a notebook around with her.
One each page is the number of times she speaks at school that day. A word that can’t be taken back. Five tally marks isn’t so bad. Two is pretty good. But zero? Zero is perfect. Zero means no wrong answers called out in class, no secrets accidentally spilled, no conversations to agonize over at night when sleep is far away.
It’s been so long since Elise has said anything she isn’t sure she could speak if she wanted to, months have passed, now her only friend Mel is drifting away, and she swears she sees her English teachers stuffed raven come to life. But the discovery of a shocking family secret might help Elise realize her silence is the key to unlocking everything she’s ever wanted.
Author Christina Collins experienced low profile selective mutism as a child and wanted to write about those experiences.
All the Stars and Teeth
In the island kingdom of Visidia you choose your magic, except that is for Amora Montara, she knows she’s going to be the High Animancer or the master of souls since she was a child. Due to a pact, her family made with an ancient being she must prove mastery over this magic to secure her place as heir to the throne.
But when her demonstration goes awry and the magic takes over Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with a mysterious pirate. He’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.
But having lived a sheltered royal life, sailing the seas holds more wonder and more danger than Amora could have imagined. There is also a new magic on the rise like Amora has never seen before, not only does she have to deal with that, but monsters, vengeful mermaids and someone she never expected showing back up in her life.
She must face all this and win or losing Visidia and the crown forever. No pressure? Huh?
The Winter Duke
Ekata’s family tends to try to kill each other off to try and reach the throne. Ekata is the middle child of thirteen and has no interest in the ruling but would like to stay far away from being murdered too, so she plans to go far away to a university where she can be away from her family’s whims.
All she has to do is get through this silly bride show. Her brother has finally been named Heir to the dukedom of Kylma Above and after all the royal pomp and circumstance are done and he picks a woman. Nothing will be able to keep her from her books or her experiments.
But there is one little problem, just when escape seems within reach her whole family except for her falls under a sleeping spell, and even her mentor in medicine can’t find a cure.
This makes not escape not only impossible it also makes her the duke. She inherits her brother’s bride, as well as challengers for a crown she never even wanted both from within and outside her ministry.
Ekata is woefully unprepared for war, diplomacy, and especially prepared Ekata for love. But if Kylma Above is to survive, Ekata must seize her family’s magic and power. And if Ekata is to survive, she must quickly decide how she will wield them both.