We love SF middle grade books and Emma and the Queen of Featherstone is a fabulous story about friendship. It’s a delightful and fun story which also touches upon secretive history and thinking for yourself. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
In the near distant future, Emma’s life revolves around the company’s Mars terraforming fast track program. Stuck between her parents’ never-ending Mars shuttle supply runs and her own coursework in the program, Emma dreams of adventure outside of the company’s plan for her. Anything to get away from the constant bullying and boring coursework.
She finds that adventure accidentally when she stumbles into a portal to a new world. On Merah, she finds two species, the secretive Kabiren. who create and run all technological advancement, and the Amethites, the native species of the planet. When the Kabiren inform her that a portal back to her world does not exist, she accepts a place in their society, as a Protector.
Now she must navigate her new assignment of guarding her new planet from portal intruders while also figuring out what the Kabiren are hiding. Her acceptance of her new life without her family and friends is thrown into chaos when she meets a special portal intruder: her best friend from Earth. Now she must decide between accepting her adventure in this new world, or fighting for her old one.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the author. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Emma and the Queen of Featherstone is a multifaceted story which explores the importance of art and expression, the necessity of asking questions, and friendship. If you have a middle grade reader who loves SF worlds, then this has to be for them! It features a few different character perspectives which allows Fryc to explore a variety of themes. On one hand, it’s a story about friendship and loss, what we will do to fight for the ones we love. And on another, it’s a story about how important it is to be able to express ourselves and perform, to make art.
Yet another avenue of exploration is how important it is to question authority and what we are told. To know that we cannot just accept everything in life, it requires us to be critical, to strive towards progress. Emma and the Queen of Featherstone is a story about secrets. About people who end up trying to protect the ones they love or a whole community, but who ultimately don’t allow them informed choices. White lies are, when alls said and done, still lies.
(Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information you can look at the Policy page. If you’re uncomfortable with that, know you can look up the book on any of the sites below to avoid the link)
And that assumes they aren’t anything more sinister. Emma and the Queen of Featherstone is a fabulous and fast paced multi-faceted story. I think it’s perfect for upper middle grade audiences and readers who are wanting to be challenged and think more about their own decisions and opinions. Find Emma and the Queen of Featherstone on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon, Bookshop.org, & Blackwells.