Last Gate of the Emperor (Hardcover)
From Kwame Mbalia and Prince Joel David Makonnen comes an 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 center 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.
This book is peace. This book is quiet love. This book is flowers in bloom. This book is a TREASURE. The story of Tea Dragons, small dragons that grow tea leaves from their horns, and their caretakers, a task that takes deep love and dedication, and an art form that needs to be passed on by someone who feels love deep in their heart.... You cannot help but fall head over heels for Katie O'Neill's stunning story and beautiful artwork!! Her work takes me to a safe and beautiful place every time I read it. Truly a treasure of a book.
(Graphic Novel, Ages 9+) - reviewed by Isabel