The Shadow Prince

By Booklist

Ash has never known his parents or a life outside his small desert town. For years, he’s been training for some mysterious purpose, though his mentor has never divulged what that might be. Then Ash’s twelfth birthday comes with an incredible reveal: he is one of very few children raised to audition to be the prince’s Shadow, a lifelong bodyguard, confidante, and friend. Ash has to survive five days of grueling physical tests proctored by various Egyptian gods, one of whom is working to sabotage the process and seize power. Ash must trust his training and newly forged friendships in order to endure the trials and save the kingdom. Durham’s story is rich in detail and imagination: in this ancient Egypt, solar energy powers flying ships, gods mix freely with men, and fantastical creatures engage in conversations with humans. Repetitive dynamics in the trials are occasionally frustrating, but a compelling story arc will keep readers engaged. A rousing romp that shows kindness as a strength and power as a chance to improve our world.