Tuesday, February 26, 2013


by Zack Giallongo
240 pages
Middle School+

Princess Zora is climbing the mountain to look for the lost tribe. After being chased by some really large, furry animal, losing all her supplies, and sleeping in the rough, she is ready to be welcomed by the clan.  Instead of finding a thriving village, she finds nothing but decay, death and one lone boy who claims to be the king of the tribe.

Meet Broxo, the lone survivor of a tragedy that eliminated the rest of his clan.  With no one but his pet beast Migo, he roams the mountain, fighting the undead that threaten him, and trying his best to survive.  Uncultured and alone, Zora is a strange intrusion into his solitary life.  He finds her struggling to find something to eat, takes pity on her, and leads her back to his cave.

Together, they start finding clues about what really decimated Broxo's clan. When Zora follows Broxo, the undead attack and Zora is hurt.  Broxo takes her to the only person he knows that can help, the witch, Ulith.  Slightly disturbed by her, Broxo and Zora need to discover what happened in the past, and if they can do anything to help put the undead to rest.

This was a really interesting, well told and gorgeously illustrated novel.  Through flashbacks and little quirks, you get to know the characters and be invested in their welfare.  You even have sympathy for the villain during part of the story, and you're not quite sure if this person is a villain or an ally (trying NOT to spoil the story..).

The layout is a little cluttered, occasionally making it harder to read the page.  When this happens, you get little distracted from the story.  Plus, while I like the flashbacks for the information they give on the characters, they chop up the flow of the story as well. 

Themes in the book to look for: family (both blood and acquired), loyalty, courage, strength of character, and friendship.

Over all, I really enjoyed this, and look forward to other stories with these characters, or more by this author.  Great book! I would recommend for late elementary (at the very earliest!), or more likely for middle school.  While more geared toward boys, I think girls that like fantasy will like this as well, especially if they like zombies!

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