From the author of The Fog Diver comes a new epic fantasy series, delivering a thrilling combination of adventure and humor! Beast & Crown is a sweeping two-book series filled with goblins and ogres and magic, in which a daring group of friends must decide if it’s worth sacrificing a few to protect the many.Sally is tough. Roz is smart. But thirteen-year-old bootboy Ji is sneaky. And after years of scrubbing at muddy soles and untangling laces, Ji is done with being a servant. He doesn’t want to polish leather, he doesn’t want to bow and scrape. All he wants is freedom-for himself and his friends.So he risks everything for a chance for them to accompany a young nobleman to the Diadem Rite, a magical ritual that chooses the heir to the Summer Crown. Ji doesn’t care about crowns or ceremonies; but he vows that this expedition will grant them all new lives, far away from stables and boots and servitude. But Ji doesn’t know that he and his friends have a crucial part to play in the Diadem Rite. One that will change them forever.
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Beast & Crown (Beast & Crown #1) Review
- January 1, 1970Ms. YinglingARC provided by Young Adult Books CentralJiyong is a boot boy in the Primstone Manor, where he is friends with Sally, a maid, as well as the governess Roz. When the nephew of the owner of Primstone is chosen to go to the city to participate in the Diadem Rite, he is hopeful that he will be chosen as the heir to the throne. Sally and Ji are glad to accompany him to the city because they hope to buy Sally's brother Chibo from the tapestry factory where her has been working. Brace's uncle doesn't w ARC provided by Young Adult Books CentralJiyong is a boot boy in the Primstone Manor, where he is friends with Sally, a maid, as well as the governess Roz. When the nephew of the owner of Primstone is chosen to go to the city to participate in the Diadem Rite, he is hopeful that he will be chosen as the heir to the throne. Sally and Ji are glad to accompany him to the city because they hope to buy Sally's brother Chibo from the tapestry factory where her has been working. Brace's uncle doesn't want to take him to the city because of a lotus flower blooming in the tombs under the manor, so Ji and his friends help him sneak in and destroy the flower. This works a little-- Brace will now go to the city, but the children don't have a chance to retrieve the loot they were going to use to buy Chibo. With ogres attacking the city, the Summer Queen is anxious to chose an heir and attend to this impending problem . Unbeknownst to Ji, when he and his friends help Brace in the Diadem Rite, they are not expected to survive. Through an odd set of circumstances, they do, but they are all greatly changed. Will they be able, in their altered forms, to save the kingdom, and can they ever trust Brace or the queen again?Ross moves from the Steampunk Dystopian world of The Fog Diver to a more traditional fantasy with scullery maids, cloaks, goblins, trolls and ogres. He does introduce a few elements to the world of the Summer Queen with jade, lotuses and dragons, but also haciendas and tortillas. The quest itself hearkens back to The Sword in the Stone, since Brace needs to be the one to retrieve the diadem from a magical tree that tries to thwart him. The beginning of the book, which talks about Ji's job as a boot cleaner, reminded me of Alexander's The Book of Three and and Taran's position as a lowly pig keeper.While Ji is certainly the driving force in the group, the supporting characters are distinctive as well. Sally is fairly single minded in her desire to retrieve her brother, and she takes to the adventure well. Roz, as a governess, has a large vocabulary and frequently confuses the others with her language. The queen, as well as most of the adults in charge, have a veneer of kindness built upon a hardrock maple base of evil. Brace is a bit of an enigma for most of the book; will he turn up on the side of evil or good by the end?The plot is easy to follow (which is always important to me, since I frequently find fantasy books confusing) and moves along quickly with the help of quirky goblins, ogre attacks, and frequent flights from the forces of evil. Readers who are looking for a good dose of traditional fantasy that is delivered by series such as McMann's The Unwanteds, Sutherland's Wings of Fire or Owen'sThe Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica will find that the imaginative twists in Beast and Crown can keep them occupied while they are waiting for the next book in one of these favorites. That said, I didn't like the use of both Asian inspired elements mixed with phrases like "Holy guacamole" and a passing reference to tortillas when there was the overwhelming feeling of British manor houses with the scullery maids and boot boys. Felt a bit unsettled to me, and I couldn't get into the quest, either. Finding Chibo was pretty lucky, but I wasn't convinced that Brace was a character that I would want Ji, Sally and Roz to support.more
- January 1, 1970HollyI was a HUGE fan of the Fog Diver, but this book was amazing. It started a little slow, but had enough humor and story line to keep you going. By the middle of the story, it really takes off. I am already for the second book, and this one isn't on store shelves yet. lol! I may have my Tween Book Club read this one since most have already read Fog Diver. I am definitely a Joel Ross fan for know on.more
- January 1, 1970AndreaI received this book in a giveaway. I think the cover caught my eye. I mistakenly thought it was a YA novel, when it was actually a children’s book (ages 8-12). In spite of this, I really enjoyed it. It was a fun and easy read. It’s been some time since I last read an adventure/fantasy novel. The ending makes me assume there might be sequel. I hope so. 4.3/5more
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