Gifted Clans #1

The Last Fallen Star by Graci Kim

Publication Date: May 4, 2021

Summary from NetGalley:

Riley Oh can’t wait to see her sister get initiated into the Gom clan, a powerful lineage of Korean healing witches their family has belonged to for generations. Her sister, Hattie, will earn her Gi bracelet and finally be able to cast spells without adult supervision. Although Riley is desperate to follow in her sister’s footsteps when she herself turns thirteen, she’s a saram–a person without magic. Riley was adopted, and despite having memorized every healing spell she’s ever heard, she often feels like the odd one out in her family and the gifted community.

Then Hattie gets an idea: what if the two of them could cast a spell that would allow Riley to share Hattie’s magic? Their sleuthing reveals a promising incantation in the family’s old spell book, and the sisters decide to perform it at Hattie’s initiation ceremony. If it works, no one will ever treat Riley as an outsider again. It’s a perfect plan!

Until it isn’t. When the sisters attempt to violate the laws of the Godrealm, Hattie’s life ends up hanging in the balance, and to save her Riley has to fulfill an impossible task: find the last fallen star. But what even is the star, and how can she find it?

As Riley embarks on her search, she finds herself meeting fantastic creatures and collaborating with her worst enemies. And when she uncovers secrets that challenge everything she has been taught to believe, Riley must decide what it means to be a witch, what it means to be family, and what it really means to belong.

ARC provided by Disney Publishing via NetGalley for an honest review.

Confession:

This is another really great story from the Rick Riordan Presents Imprint. I have yet to be disappointed by any of these books and I love that they are all based on different cultures and mythologies, but yet have a familiar feel to them.

Riley was such a wonderful character. She is adopted and really struggled to fit into her adoptive family even though she didn’t think that she had any magical ability. You could tell that her family really loved her and there was a very special bond between her and her sister Hattie. Riley was also pretty smart and brave even when things were not going as planned. She also managed to surround herself with friends who always had her back. Riley’s character grows quite a bit in this book, she really learns to accept herself as she is and knows that she has friends and family she can depend on.

Emmett is one of those friends. He also is an outsider to this magical community, even though his mother was part of it, his father was not, and once his mother died he was unable to access the gifted clans. But he was still a great friend to Hattie and especially Riley, even though he was moody and difficult at times.

I loved the world that was built here. I liked that there were different clans within the community and that each had their special talent or magic to work with. I enjoyed learning about some of the mythological animals that they encountered in their adventures, and also learning about their goddesses. I loved the dragon scooter named Boris, even though he never talked he seemed to have quite the personality.

The story started off a little bit on the slow side, but once it takes off you will find it hard to stop reading. I was certain that I knew what the last fallen star was going to end up being, but was totally wrong when it came to the big reveal. I loved that whole part of the story and all of the different places they went to in LA. It was cool the way the magical word was hidden inside buildings and through magical portals.

Another great book to add to this imprint. There are plans for at least two more books and I can’t wait to see where Riley and her friends will go next.

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