- Reading level: Ages 8 and up
- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins (January 17, 2012)
- Language: English
- Buy The Book: Amazon
Thirteen-year-old Zardi loves to hear stories about fantastical beings long banned from the kingdom of Arribitha. But anyone who is caught whispering of their powers will feel the rage of the sultan—a terrifying tyrant who, even with his eyes closed, can see all.
When her own beloved sister is captured by the evil ruler, Zardi knows that she must risk everything to rescue her. Along with Rhidan, who is her best friend, and an unlikely crew of sailors led by the infamous Captain Sinbad, Zardi ventures forth into strange and wondrous territory with a seemingly impossible mission: to bring magic back to Arribitha and defeat the sultan once and for all.
At first I kinda had a hard time getting into this book, but then when events started to unfold, I wouldn't put it down. This book is awesome because it had pirates AND magic! I liked that the author put Sinbad in the book, I'm a big Sinbad fan and in this book he was as awesome as always. This book is- I'm pretty sure- set in some kind of fictitious Arabic country, because the name of the country is Aribitha, and the ruler is the sultan....
My favorite character in this book was probably Rhidan, because he's cool. He is the main character, Zardi's best friend who is different than everybody else, he has paler skin and violet eyes, topped with a shock of silvery hair. I think Rhidan and Zardi should end up together because they're best friends and they're always trying to protect each other. I also liked Zardi, she's my age (Not for long!) and she's brave, kind, helpful, and smart. She's a really cool heroine in the story. The best baddie of this story was the Serpent Queen, she was so cool, I pictured her in my head and thought, I love it! She is a woman with scales and a snake head or something like that, but it's cool. She was really powerful and sneaky.
My least favorite character was probably Nadeem, he is a traitor and a fool. I mean, sure he turns good at the very end, but he betrayed his crewmates, whom he said were his family, and caused them to be imprisoned by the Serpent Queen while he is dressed in fine robes as her adviser. I also didn't like the sultan, he was completely raving mad, killing everybody who disobeyed any tiny rule.
There was definitely violence in this book (When do I not read violent books?) But nothing too graphic, just some fight scenes. Otherwise there were no real romance or language problems.