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From Kwame Mbalia and Prince Joel David Makonnen comes an action-packed Afrofuturist adventure about a mythical Ethiopian empire. Sci-fi and fantasy combine in this epic journey to the stars. Yared Heywat lives an isolated life in Addis Prime – a hardscrabble city with rundown tech, lots of rules, and not much to do. His worrywart Uncle Moti and bionic lioness Besa are his only family… and his only friends. Often in trouble for his thrill-seeking antics and smart mouth, those same qualities make Yared a star player of the underground augmented reality game, The Hunt for Kaleb’s Obelisk. But when a change in the game rules prompts Yared to log in with his real name, it triggers an attack that rocks the city. In the chaos, Uncle Moti disappears. Suddenly, all the stories Yared’s uncle told him as a young boy are coming to life, of kingdoms in the sky and city-razing monsters. And somehow Yared is at the centre of them. Together with Besa and the Ibis – a game rival turned reluctant ally – Yared must search for his uncle… and answers to his place in a forgotten, galaxy-spanning war.
Our May 2021 Ages 9-10 Book of the Month
My May Book of the Month for ages 9 and over is Last Gate of the Emperor. Our protagonist Yared Heywat lives an isolated life in Addis Prime – a city filled with rundown tech, lots of rules, and not much to do. His only escape is the underground augmented reality game, The Hunt for Kaleb’s Obelisk. But one day when Yared logs in with his real name, it triggers an attack upon his city and causes his Uncle Moti’s disappearance. Suddenly, all the stories Moti told him as a young boy are coming to life, and somehow Yared is at the centre of all of them. Yared must search kingdoms in the sky and fight city-razing monsters to find his Uncle… and to find answers to his place in a forgotten, galaxy-spanning war.
That synopsis alone is enough to get anyone excited, and screams Ready Player One, meets Black Panther, meets Star Wars. Plus it’s co-written by an unbelievable pair of authors. Kwame Mbalia is a New York Times bestselling author, and His Royal Highness Prince Joel David Makonnen is a member of the Ethiopian royal family and the great-grandson of the last Emperor of Ethiopia. This adventure is loosely based on Makonnen’s real-life story, intertwined with Ethiopian myth and folklore. It’s action packed, cinematic, Afrofuturistic, combining sci-fi and fantasy with the beauty of Ethiopia in an epic journey to the stars.
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