Monster hunting isn't for the faint of heart -- the first in a brand-new middle-grade series by NYT bestselling author, Kelley Armstrong.
Twelve-year-old Rowan is destined to be Queen; her twin brother, Rhydd, to be Royal Monster Hunter. Rowan would give anything to switch places, but the oldest child is always next in line, even if she is only older by two minutes. She resigns herself to admiring her monster hunting aunt's glorious sword and joining her queen mother for boring diplomatic teas. But tragedy shatters the longstanding rule, and Rowan finds herself hunting the most dangerous monster of all: a gryphon.
Accompanied by a feisty baby jackalope and a giant wolf that barely tolerates her, Rowan sets off on a journey that will see her join other unlikely allies: a boy with monster-hunting ambitions of his own, and a girl hiding dangerous motives. It will take all of Rowan's skills, both physical and diplomatic, to keep this adventure on track. The future of her kingdom depends on it.
As the oldest child, Rowan, 12, has always known she'd be Queen, but she envies her twin brother, Rhydd, who is in line to become Royal Monster Hunter (but would make a better consort). Nevertheless, she spends her time learning about myriad creatures. However, after their Aunt Jannah is slain in a gryphon attack, just as their father was, and Rhydd is badly injured, Rowan must step into the role she's always dreamed of fulfilling. Accompanied by a jackalope and an enormous wolf, Rowan sets out to find the person who can help train her for the monumental task ahead: to fight and slay the gryphon. As she forges unlikely friendships and alliances, she develops a growing understanding of her weighty responsibility to her people while seeking to understand and respect the monsters she hunts, doing as little harm as possible. Weaving in themes of family, duty, and conservation, YA author Armstrong (the Darkness Rising trilogy) offers a gripping middle grade debut in an imaginative fantasy world populated by fascinating creatures. Readers will hope that there is more planned for Rowan and her growing entourage of monsters and misfits. A monster field guide concludes. Ages 10 14.