Tonight Zardi is expecting to celebrate her birthday and the announcement of her sister Zubeyda's engagement. That is not to be. Shahryar, the ruling sultan, kidnaps her sister to be his praisemaker and her father is imprisoned. Determined to save her family, Zardi and her best friend Rhidan set off to find the pirate Sinbad and enlist his help to bring down this evil sultan and restore magic to Arribitha. For Rhidan, the quest also means finding his father. The dangers ahead - both human and magical - test their friendship, make them question their goals, and reveal talents that may or may not be an asset. Is it too much?
Love, love, love this story. It is mythical, magical, things are not always what they seem, and the "good guys" have their flaws. It is action-packed but doesn't go to the dark places that Harry went to in later books. The author does a great job balancing Zardi and Rhidan's backstories (and not letting readers forget them) with the action and adventure of their quest. Man, I wish there was a book 2.
Exceptional writing creates imagery and suspense that will have readers turning page after page.
This is a fantasy story that is a cross between Arabian Nights and How to Train Your Dragon.
This is an action-packed adventure that's fun to read. Look beyond the magic to explore themes of friendship, loyalty, judging others (Sinbad comes to mind), and the idea of what makes a family. Rhidan is an intriguing character with a backstory that will resonate with adopted and foster kids.
11 and Up
9 and Up
Buy. This is a story that has that magical combination of classical themes and modern appeal.