Review Detail

Kids Fiction 265
How far will one girl go to save her sister?
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Riley Oh is thrilled for her sister, Hattie, to finally be formally initiated into the Gom clan on her 13th birthday. Riley longs to join her in the ranks of their family's clan which focuses on healing magic. However, Riley, an adoptee, is a saram, a person without magic. A few days before the ceremony, Hattie devises a plan to cast a spell that would allow Riley to share her magic. But when they try the spell, everything goes wrong. They've broken the laws of the Godrealm, and Hattie's life is in danger. In order to save her, Riley has to find the last fallen star...and she has no idea what or where it is. As she seeks it, she will learn what it means to sacrifice, to find the truth, and to truly belong.

Graci Kim's THE LAST FALLEN STAR overflows with intricate mythology, heart, and characters you want to root for. The mythology and magic system center around clans with different abilities and connections to the mother of the three realms, Mago Halmi, and Mago's six goddesses. Each clan has a specific motto that they strive to uphold with their gifts. Part of Riley’s journey is finding where she fits among the clans and within her family and what it means to truly act in honor of their mottos. Through her eyes, we get to see the magic of some of the other clans as well as encountering awesome beings from the Godrealm and Spiritrealm. I’m so happy that this is the first in a series because it’s easy to tell how rich and vast this world is.

Riley and her story have such a sincerity and heart that had me crying over more than one scene. She is fiercely devoted to her family and her friends. Even when she’s put in situations where she could take the easy way out or act out of hate, she finds her back to acting in love, protection, and sacrifice. This isn’t to say she’s perfect, but that she embodies what we often look for in heroes: the strength of character to put action to values and to right wrongs, even if you’re the one who has done wrong or been mistaken. Several of the secondary character shine just as brightly as Riley (in their own unique ways) like Emmett and Taeyo. Even Jennie, usually a bully, has a scene that broke my heart and readied me for a potential redemption arc.

THE LAST FALLEN STAR is simply and undeniably magic. Prepare to be captivated by a journey that asks what it means to belong, what it means to sacrifice, and what it means to be powerful.
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