And we believe him. Read Rick’s introduction to Graci Kim’s The Last Fallen Star (on sale tomorrow!) and get ready for your next great read.
Why didn’t somebody tell me about this stuff sooner?
That was my first thought when reading The Last Fallen Star. Graci Kim does such an amazing job of blending Korean mythology into the modern world, I am now wondering how I ever lived without knowing all this cool information. Turns out, right under our noses in Los Angeles, there is an entire society of Korean witches with deep connections to the Godrealm. I am so glad LA finally has something to brag about besides being the entrance to Hades’s Underworld.
I started reading and immediately got hooked. I was halfway through the book before I remembered, “Oh, right, I’m supposed to be editing this.”
Which of the six gifted witch clans would you choose to be in? Each one is amazing, with its own patron god and special powers. I’d love to be Miru—the protectors—because their patron is the Water Dragon Goddess, but there’s no way I could be that fast and strong. I’m big into reading and history, so the Horangi clan is appealing, but as you’ll soon see, this clan of scholars doesn’t have the best reputation right now. In fact, they’ve been exiled from the other five clans. Bummer.
I guess my next choice would be the Gumiho. I’ve always liked the Nine-Tailed Fox Goddess. Being able to cast illusions could be really helpful. On those mornings when you’re in a rush and don’t have time to get dressed, just cast an illusion on yourself and look however you want! Their motto is Beauty and Influence. I think they’d get along really well with Aphrodite’s kids!
The hero of our story, Riley Oh, isn’t sure where she belongs. Her family is in the Gom clan—the great magical healers—and Riley would love to get confirmed as a healing witch when she turns thirteen, like her sister, Hattie, is about to do. Unfortunately, Riley is a saram—a person born with no magic at all. She was adopted, and her biological parents weren’t witches. Riley’s adopted parents are awesome, however, and she gets along great with her sister. Still, it’s super hard being the only one in the family without magic.
Then Hattie has a brilliant idea. They will cast a spell during Hattie’s initiation that will let Riley share half of Hattie’s power! Sure, the spell is forbidden. They’ll have to steal it from their parents’ safe. They’ll also have to perform the spell in front of the Council of Elders and the entire congregation of the five clans on temple day, but what could possibly go wrong?
Um… you can probably guess how that turns out.
Riley discovers that her past is a whole lot more complicated than she realized. By trying to share Hattie’s power, she unleashes an avalanche of unintended consequences, and brings secrets to light that were meant to stay buried forever. If she is going to save her family, the witch community, and the entire mortal realm, she had better discover her true powers quickly, and figure out who she can trust among the mortals, witches, and gods.
I have to admit, I fell down on the job while I was reviewing Graci’s manuscript. I started reading and immediately got hooked. I was halfway through the book before I remembered, “Oh, right, I’m supposed to be editing this.” Then I went back and looked for stuff to edit, and I just got hooked into the story again. That’s how good it is.
You’re going to fall in love with this world right away. Riley’s best friend, Emmett, is the kind of guy you want on your team. He loves baking and bringing you treats. He likes to dress up pets in strange costumes. He claims he is allergic to emotions, which just made me want to give him a big hug! He totally needs to meet Nico di Angelo and share a batch of cookies. Hattie is the best big sister, and she and Riley have the sweetest sibling relationship even though they’re so different. The families in the witch clans are all so messy and loving and complicated—just like real families! And did I mention the food? Oh. My. Gods. Tornado fries. Bulgogi tacos. Gimchi salsa. Miniature donuts. Sign me up.
Speaking of eating, I ate this book way too fast. That’s one of the bad things about getting an early look, because I devour the book and am ready for a sequel before the first volume is even published. Burp!
Well, at least I get to share The Last Fallen Star with you! I know you’ll love it. When you’re finished, let’s get together and compare notes on which clans we like best and where we’re going to eat a magical lunch next time we’re in LA!
— Rick Riordan