High fantasy icon T.A. Barron has long been fascinated by Atlantis, and now he has started a series about it. Refreshingly, he starts with the creation of the mythical lost island rather than its destruction.
Promi is an accomplished thief with no memory of his parents. He steals primarily to feed himself but also enjoys making mischief at the expense of the land of Ellegandia’s power-hungry leaders. Finally caught and imprisoned, he helps an old woman who gives him Listener magic, but every time it is used he must make a sacrifice. After his escape to the forest Promi meets a young woman, Atlanta, and the two begin a quest to save all Ellegandia from the schemes of Grukarr, who has stolen the Starstone and will turn it over to the evil immortal Narkazan in return for being named emperor. They enlist the help of a variety of magical beings, and Promi makes many sacrifices to use his magic, including the ultimate one. But never fear, readers and Promi delight in discovering that he is an immortal. In saving Elleagandia, Promi’s magic cuts the peninsula off from Grukarr’s invading armies by forcing the land to break away and become an island. He names it Atlantis to honor his friend before he leaves for the world of the immortals.
This novel is inventive, engaging high fantasy, with memorable characters and a richly painted world. Middle school and high school readers will be eager for the sequel to see what is in store for Atlantis next.