Rating: 1-5: 4
Genre: Fantasy, Action
What did you like about the book? As a reward for her part in thwarting a rebellion, Brindl has been appointed Master of Messages. Her main job is to care for the handful of bluejackets (messenger birds) that survived a recent plague. Homesick for her Earth Guild people, Brindl struggles to meet the requirements of her new exalted position. Directives from an etiquette manual she is supposed to follow contrast humorously with Brindl’s real actions, such as when she saves the princess’ life despite the manual’s instructions to never approach royalty without permission. Meanwhile, the rulers of the Outer Lands are taking interest in her little country of Tequende, and Queen Twenty-one seems to be welcoming them, possibly at the expense of her own people. As an Earth Guilder, Brindl would be happy to stay in the background, but instead, she is required to play a larger, more courageous role.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No.
To whom would you recommend this book? Recommend to young people who enjoy stories set in imaginary lands that contain characters that might waver but ultimately do the right thing, with minimal violence, and where a positive outcome is not truly in doubt.
Who should buy this book? Middle school libraries and public libraries if they already have the initial book in the series. Though each book can stand on its own, this book completes the story begun in The Second Guard, and the two stories make more sense when read together in order.
Where would you shelve it? Shelve with your other Fantasy books.
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No, unless you read and enjoyed the first one in the series.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA
Date of review: 10/21/16