Suitable for 9 - 10 years

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Released on 07/07/22

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Product description

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 has traveled light years to find his place in the universe. Though the battle of Addis Prime is over, the spacefaring Axum Empire is still fractured, and returning to the planet where their galaxy-spanning civilization began -Earth. But they find the planet in disarray. Old Earth’s atmosphere is a mess of junked shuttles and satellites. This is especially true of Debris Town, an orbital flotilla where poor spacefarers – left to rot by the Intergalactic Union that rose up in Axum’s place – have taken to piracy to survive.

Yared is set to speak at the opening of the Royal Trials, a competition of the best exo pilots in the Sol System. But on the day of his speech, the pirates launch an attack! The siege sets off a chain of events that will lead Yared into the depths of Old Earth – and the jaws of a cruel betrayal. There’s more to the pirates – and Debris Town – than anyone saw coming…

REVIEWS OF LAST GATE OF THE EMPEROR #1 Inspired by the history and lore of Ethiopia, this cinematic space adventure introduces 12-year-old Yared Heywat as he fights to protect those he loves after learning stunning secrets about his world and himself … In this fast-paced, Afrofuturist homage to Ethiopia, Mbalia and Ethiopian prince Makonnen craft an enthralling tale of resilience, family, and bravery that will entertain young sci-fi lovers. – Publisher’s Weekly Action-packed technothriller … Readers will delight in Yared’s puckish demeanor and perspective, his loyal bionic lioness, Besa, and the events that ensue as all of Yared’s childhood stories come to life in a terrifying way, from dangerous monsters to mysterious floating realms. In this vivid, volatile Afrofuturist sf world, as Yared journeys to learn about himself and his spiraling environment, he must figure out who to trust and how he is connected to all of the chaos. – Booklist An epic sci-fi adventure – The Nerd Daily

Our July 2022 Ages 9-10 Book of the Month

Our book of the month for children aged 9 and over is The Last Gate of the Emperor: The Royal Trials. This is the second book in the action-packed series about a mythical Ethiopian empire. We continue to follow protagonist Yared Heywat after the battle of Addis Prime is over. The Axum Empire is still fractured and is returning to the planet where their civilisation began: Earth. But the planet, and especially Debris Town, is a mess of junked shuttles and satellites. Worst of all, its inhabitants have turned to piracy in order to survive! It is these pirates who launch an attack on the day of The Royal Trials and start a chain of events that leads Yared into the depths of Old Earth and a cruel betrayal.

The high-stakes, action-packed adventure in the first book has only increased in the second and is perfect to draw you out of everyday life and into a fantastical, thrilling world. Together, bestselling author Kwame Mbalia and Prince Joel David Makonnen, a member of the Ethiopian royal family, have managed to create the perfect blend of Black Panther and Star Wars – sure to get fans of series such as Percy Jackson excited!

Olivia - Book Club Editor, Ages 7+
Olivia - Book Club Editor, Ages 7+

Product Details

Catalogue number

192 in UK Summer 2022







Date published

July 7th, 2022

Other details

  • 320 pages



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