The Traitor of Nubis (Umbra Tales 2)

The Traitor of Nubis (Umbra Tales 2)
Age Range
Release Date
September 19, 2023
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Mia grapples with the responsibility of her new powers and uncovers even more of Nubis’s secrets in this thrilling second book in the Umbra Tales middle grade series that’s Keeper of the Lost Cities meets The Golden Compass.

The Reaper King’s attempt to break free and thrust the rest of the Kingdom of Lunis into darkness has been thwarted, but all is still not well in Nubis, Mia’s moonlit kingdom home. The whole city is on guard for another attempt to resurrect the Reaper King. Though imprisoned, his followers, the Elite, are still inside the city, and tensions among the population are at an all-time high.

Meanwhile, Mia struggles to cope with her new Lightcaster powers and to fit in with the rest of the tamers, many of whom are skeptical of her abilities. But it’s the appearance of old friends and new maybe-enemies that will truly put Mia’s abilities—and the loyalties of everyone she trusts—to the test.

Editor review

1 review
Finding a hidden threat
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
Mia has horrible dreams involving her family members where shadows pour from their bodies. A strange woman’s voice speaks to Mia in her dreams and she starts having visions even while she’s awake. The troubling thoughts seem to be a sign that the Reaper King isn’t gone forever and at least one of his Elite is still roaming free to cause trouble. Mia can’t believe it might be her former best friend, Miles. For readers, it’s unclear if Mia’s imaginings are twisted variations of her experiences, premonitions of what’s to come, or messages from the Reaper King. The woman’s voice speaks to Mia in a time of need so maybe the voice is trying to help her. Or, maybe it’s trying to manipulate her.
Mia’s parents continually stress the importance of Mia learning to control her Lightcaster powers. Standing up to the Reaper King and his minions last summer doesn’t mean she knows how she did it. Her power often builds up when she feels strong emotions, like stress and anger, until it erupts from her hands. That’s not a useful way to use such a strong ability. Mia’s parents provide lessons but they’re not Lightcasters and they get their knowledge from incomplete text from a Lightcaster book. She’s frustrated with her lack of progress especially when her little brother, also a Lightcaster, has some success. However, she eventually feels a new sense of purpose and determination with the hopes of helping her grandparents and preparing for the secret plans of the Elite.
As the title indicates, a traitor is lurking in the story. Readers will be suspicious of every character and question their actions. New characters who were once aligned with the Elite enter Nubis so readers will immediately be leery of their motives. The Reaper King is still able to influence his Elite followers even though he’s not physically present. Consequently, readers will anticipate his return even though they won’t know when or how he’ll do it. He hopes to capture a Lightcaster which puts Mia and Lucas in imminent danger. Mia finds cryptic messages from an unknown person that influence her decisions but is the person trying to help Mia or are the messages leading her into a trap?
What didn’t work as well:
I know it’s a way to develop drama but Mia repeatedly disobeys her parents to go on her secret missions. It gets a little redundant when Mia repeatedly goes off on her own, fearful of what her parents may think, but receives little consequence for putting herself in danger. It seems like her parents should be more protective of her safety but Mia repeatedly puts herself in danger. This adds tension to the plot but readers may expect the parents to try harder to keep their daughter safe. I was.
The final verdict:
This book continues Mia’s quest to stop the Reaper King even though this time the antagonists aren’t clearly defined. The suspects aren’t easily identified which helps to build suspense. Overall, this is an exciting continuation of the series and I recommend you give it a shot.
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