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*Scrapped Princess: A Tale of Destiny* by Ichiro Sakaki, illustrated by Yukinobu Azumi- young adult fantasy book review


Scrapped Princess: A Tale of Destiny
by Ichiro Sakaki, illustrated by Yukinobu Azumi
Grades 7-9 384 pages Dial September 2006 Hardcover    

It all started with the prophecy: once a year for the past 5111 years, the Oracle of the court has retired to their chambers to await their divine message. Most years the prophecy is something minor and certainly no cause for alarm. However, this year started with bloodcurdling screams and a river of deep crimson blood. The Queen’s daughter has been marked as evil and is promised to destroy the world should she live to the age of sixteen. To prevent utter chaos and horror, the child must be killed the moment she is born.

Unfortunately for the kingdom, the Queen’s infant daughter is smuggled out of the castle and given over to new adoptive parents before the execution can take place. Hiding as a commoner, Pacifica Casull is brought up as a normal child in a tiny village. It isn’t until her sixteenth birthday is less than a year away that strange things start to happen; her father is mysteriously murdered and leaves behind letters revealing Pacifica’s true heritage.

Assassins are dispatched from all over the realm, hoping to be the first to execute Pacifica, save the world, and capture the monetary reward in one fell swoop. Unfortunately for the would-be heroes, Pacifica’s brother Shannon (an incredibly skilled swordsman) and sister Raquel (one of the most powerful sorceresses in the realm) have other ideas. Vowing to protect their sister despite grave consequences, they will torture, but not kill, anyone who dares cross their path.

With a lighthearted narrative set against a backdrop of violence and gore, this first installment of the Scrapped Princess series will appeal to males and females alike. Although the beginning is full of gripping details that promise an intense adventure, the end peters out without much of a cliffhanger to keep readers on edge waiting for the next installment.

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  Meghan Fryett/2006 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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