Middle-grade fans of Pam Muñoz Ryan's Esperanza Rising, will find a new Mexican heroine to love in Solimar and a fresh, magical story! On the brink of her Quinceañera, and her official coronation, Solimar visits the oyamel forest to sit among the monarch butterflies. There, the sun pierces through a sword-shaped crevice in a boulder, which shines on her and sends the butterflies humming and swirling around her. After the magical frenzy, she realizes she's been given a gift—and a burden: she can predict the near future! She has also become a protector of the young and weak butterflies. This alone would be a huge responsibility, but tragedy strikes when a neighboring king invades while her father and brother and many others are away. The remaining villagers are taken hostage—all except Solimar. Can this princess-to-be save her family, the kingdom, and the future of the monarch butterflies from a greedy and dangerous king? Written for ages 8 to 12 by the Newbery Honor Medal winner of the highly acclaimed novel Echo.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Get ready for an utterly delightful tween fantasy with a strong and relatable Latina heroine. Fourteen-year-old Solimar is an “almost-princess” who’s always ready to bend her royal family’s rules. (Why can’t she wear boots with her quinceañera dress?) During a secret excursion to a nearby forest, Solimar receives an unexpected new magical power, which comes in handy when she suddenly has to save the entire kingdom of San Gregorio from a tyrannical invader. Beloved YA star Pam Muñoz Ryan (Echo) gives us an exciting blend of fairy tale and coming-of-age story, complete with a spunky young woman pushing against her society’s constrictions and an enchanted talking-doll sidekick. Solimar: The Sword of the Monarchs is a fun read full of action with an underlying ecological message.