When 13-year-old Valor is sent to jail, she couldn’t be happier. Demidova’s prison for criminal children is exactly where she wants to be. Valor’s twin sister, Sasha, is serving a life sentence for stealing from the royal family, and Valor is going to help her escape…from the inside. Never mind that no one has escaped the prison in centuries.
Valor has a master plan and resources most people could only dream about. But she didn’t count on having to outsmart both the guards and her fellow prisoners. If Valor’s plan is to succeed, she’ll need to make some unlikely allies. And if the plan fails, she and Sasha could end up with fates worse than prison.
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I love a good fantasy adventure, and this ticked all the boxes for me. It’s Middle Grade, which is the age level before YA, which made it a very quick read for me, but nonetheless enjoyable. Fun main characters inhabiting a well drawn world – this is an accomplished debut and I look forward to the next instalment. (There *is* going to be a next instalment, right?) It is a little dark in places (these are not adventures where you bruise your knee, dust yourself off and are home for supper), and I certainly wouldn’t hand it to Smallest just now, who is on the nervous side as a reader, but it’s definitely one I would keep on the shelf for her in a couple of years time. By which time I’ll have the next instalment, right? If I had a criticism it’s that some of the supporting characters could do with a bit more attention to flesh them out a little, but I think that’s a casualty of the age category rather than the writing.
Very much looking forward to seeing what comes next, and hoping that it’s soon!
Disclosure: I was supplied a copy of this book by Bloomsbury via Netgalley for the purposes of review. Amazon links are affiliate links.