Each of Hale's Books of Bayern gives us the perspective of a new character--one who was a supporting character in the previous books. This third book brings us the story of Razo, everyone's favorite snarky friend, short in stature but big on charm. As one of the King's Own soldiers, Razo is part of a diplomatic mission in Tira, following the end of the brutal war that Bayern won in Enna Burning. The convoy is there to secure peace between the two countries, but relations are tenuous and someone seems bent on restarting the war. With the help of his new friend, Dasha, Razo is determined to find out who is sabotaging peace.
Shannon Hale is one of our favorite middle-grade authors to read aloud together. Her books are smart, complex, and filled with nature-oriented magic. The characters are vivid, and many have snarky smarts that delight my fifth grader. I love how Hale weaves complex politics and international relations into her riveting narratives. While the nuances are not always easy for a young reader to understand, her books have spurred many discussions that are applicable to our modern world. I highly recommend this series for magic-loving, curious middle-grade readers.
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Razo has always thought of himself as too short, too weak, too slow; only good for catching with his sling the odd squirrel for his mother’s cookpot. But when he joins the king’s soldiers on a peacekeeping mission, Razo finds that his squirrel-killing talents come in handy, and his way of noticing the unusual, thinking through to the truth, and befriending the unlikeliest of people will serve him better than anyone could have predicted.
Shannon Hale’s Books of Bayern have become beloved, perennial favorites, finding more and more readers every year since they were published over a decade ago. Now with fresh new covers, the fantastical, romantic, and gorgeously written series that first introduced Hale as a master storyteller is prime to be discovered by the a whole new generation.