The Age of Akra (Starchild #1) by Vacen Taylor
Publication Date: March 8th 2013
Publisher: Odyssey Books
Genre : High Fantasy / Middle grade
The foreshadowing of a dark future threatens the seven nations of Sahas. Mai is selected to train with the mysterious elemental master Sah Dohba, who will prepare her to become the protector of the desert lands. Her brother Long steps forward to travel with her as her chaperone to the Valley of a Thousand Thoughts.
A mysterious encounter brings them together with Akra, the Starchild. The trio travels on into a battle with the elements. Sandstorms. Deadly creatures. Starvation. Then a chance meeting with powerful earthfollower sets them on a new path where they must each find the strength to face a terrifying foe from the Underworld.
*** Note: I won this book in giveaways. ***
The Age of Akra was fantastic first book in the Starschild series. It was middle grade fantasy that revolved around Mai’s journey that turned into thrilling and dangerous adventure. It was about hope, friendship, bravery, and kindness.
There were 3 main characters- Mai, Long and Akra. Mai was 13-years-old brave and kind hearted girl who was chosen to go on arduous pilgrimage to train under master thoughtbanker. She was smart, talented thoughtbanker and was filled with courage, kindness and hope. She didn’t hesitate to take risk for others, even for those she hardly knew, to do right thing.
Long was 15 old, Mai’s elder brother and her chaperon on her journey. He was not as smart as Mai but he could morph into animal. He was timid but when the time came he showed courage and developed confidence by the end of the book. He made this tough journey and their dangerous adventure entertaining.
Akra was 10-year-old starchild, destined to save world when he can master all the elements. There was more to this kid. In the beginning he didn’t remember much about his life and purpose but he was smart, kind, wise and lovely. He was fascinating throughout the book and I’m curious to know more about him and his powers.
What I Liked-
This is my first book by author and I can tell she is great story teller. Writing was fabulous. Desert setting and the world of elemental magic was vividly described. I loved characters specially kids. They were smart and wise for their age.
It started with middle child Mai’s tests by ministers of 8 elemental magic and being selected to go on pilgrimage to the Velley of Thousand Thoughts where she would be trained and become part of the prophecy. When minister asked one person to chaperon Mai on this journey, one of her elder brother, Long, instantly volunteered. Both were bonded with each other more than with any other siblings but they hardly agreed on one thing. On their first day of the journey only, they started showing their polar thoughts that lead disagreements. On their way they encountered mysterious light. The prophecy that looked just stories till now turned into reality when they found a starchild, Akra. Together they travelled through scorching desert, came across a wounded dying man, deadly creatures, and met some mysterious and powerful people that diverted them from their journey to the mountain of dark magic.
It was interesting, dark, and dangerous journey. I liked the chosen one and good vs evil arc in this book. Author turned this arc into extraordinary by including prophecy, elemental magic, giant serpent and spiders, dark magic, underworld monsters, and brave young characters.
What I loved most was world-building. I enjoyed reading about 8 elemental magic and seven nations, each nation was skilled in particular element, various powers of particular elemental magic, rift between nations, and how things were changing because of dark magic and rising of being from underworld.
There was adventure in every single chapter that kept me turning pages at jet speed. Twist and turns were clever. I couldn’t guess how they would save their new friend and fight dark magic. Climax was action packed and end was great. It was perfect story for the target audience. I can picture myself giving this book to my daughter after 6 years.
Overall, it was total fun, coming of age middle grade fantasy filled with action and magic. I highly recommend this to middle grade readers.
What do you think about the book and review? Have you read this book already? Have you read books featuring elemental magic? What is your element? I’m Ice and Water according to this test, check out yours HERE.
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