The emperor of Camellion, it is said, is the worst ruler in the history of the land. He’s spoiled, selfish, and doesn’t have the faintest idea of how to lead an empire—nor does he have any intention of learning. To make matters worse, he is nearly of age to rule, and will gain full power in a few days’ time. He needs to be taught a lesson. And fast.
Begonia, a dairymaid from the country, doesn’t know anything about the shortcomings of her exalted ruler. She has enough to deal with without worrying about things like that—her cow has disappeared (again) and she has to find her as soon as possible. However, when two ancestor spirits decide to take matters with the emperor into their own hands, things start to get out of control, and Begonia seems to be the only one who can stop it. To save the empire and set things to rights, she sets off on a journey which will cross paths with a strange collection of characters, including a self-proclaimed Finder of Things That Are Lost, a peculiar—and incredibly rude—stranger, a stubborn cow, a suspicious circus owner, plotting lords, and an eight-foot ostrich. But even with her new friends to help her, is Begonia bold enough to face unnamed dangers to stop the injustices in her land? Or has she taken on much more than she bargained for?
I liked this book for a lot of reasons. It was amusing, captivating, and most of all fun. A cast of quirky characters and usurping villains, not to mention a very determined ostrich, brought the story to life, and various escapes and twists kept it entertaining and original. I would highly recommend it for ages seven and up, or for any readers looking for a light but satisfying new read.
A big thank you to Julie Berry, for sending us a review copy of her book!