Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with this book, in exchange for my honest opinion. It will be available July 9th, 2019.
So, why the manly moniker in tandem with the womanly name?
“The Firstborn Child of The Emperor-King Inherits the Ruling Crown, the Title of Emperor-King and All Powers Thereof.” (Item 37, The Royal Manual)
Enter Lillian, the firstborn child of said Emperor-King. Cast out of her Kingdom by malevolent forces, mysteriously waylaid by Destiny, the spirited, self-reliant Lillian sets off on an exuberant journey to find her way home and claim her birthright. As she travels through marvelous and mystical lands in search of her origins, Lillian encounters and befriends a kaleidoscopic cast of characters. Most of the tale is told by Lillian herself, as she chronicles her extraordinary adventures. (taken from Amazon)
Simply put, this book was marvelous. I loved every single word. It is told in Lillian’s own words, written in her Book (I capitalize it because she did in the story). It’s the hero’s journey, of course, but told in a new and original way.
Having grown up in the Forest of Forgetfulness, Lillian naturally remembers nothing about who she really is or where she came from. One day Destiny calls and Lillian answers, traveling into the wide Whirld to find answers. But Destiny is a funny thing, and she finds much, much more than she expected.
Lillian is the best protagonist I’ve read in a very long time. She’s spunky and has a habit of speaking her mind- whether she should or not. I love that sometimes it gets her in trouble, but in other times it’s just what’s needed. The language used in her narration is absolutely charming and natural-feeling.
Another wonderful thing about this book are the life lessons Lillian (and the reader) learn along the way. They’re beautifully disguised as different adventures, and not as heavy-handed as lessons are in a book like Little Women. For example, there’s the Narcissus, the vicious creature that attempts to defeat Lillian by telling her all her “many faults”. The way Lillian wins this encounter is nothing short of brilliant- and a perfect, subtle lesson about appearances and self-esteem.
This book is at once sweet, funny, and empowering, and I couldn’t put it down. It’s perfect for older kids navigating that hard time between childhood and everything else, fantasy lovers, or anyone who just wants a good book. I highly recommend this one.