Whether your family has been waiting for the next graphic novel in Faith Erin Hicks’ The Nameless City series, or if this is the first you’ve heard of it, THE STONE HEART will captivate your middle-readers (and everyone else in the household) with its action, character development, drama, and gorgeous full-color illustrations.
The main story features Kaidu and Rat, two children who have formed a friendship despite being from very different backgrounds. Their adventures are exciting, filled with danger, and the youngsters remain the heroes throughout. Rat’s background is developed, as she reveals details about her painful past, and Kaidu struggles with not fitting in to the expectations of his war-like people. They depend on each other and learn from each other as their friendship grows.
THE STONE HEART continues adding characters rich in diverse backgrounds and personalities. The place names, traditions, clothing, and setting is based in the Yuan Dynasty and the Silk Road, but there is a fantastical aspect that will pique each reader’s interests and imaginations as well.
The twists and turns in the plot and the detailed discovery about various background characters will keep readers captivated through multiple readings. It is not necessary to have read the first book in the series, The Nameless City, but it makes the story feel even more epic to know how Rat and Kaidu met and how they first began their adventures.
As with most books in a series, THE STONE HEART ends with a cliffhanger that will leave readers on the edge of their seats. To take the edge off the anticipation, the author’s note and concept drawings at the end of the book highlight both the writing process and the research used in developing The Nameless City’s world. It also lets readers know that the final book in the series is already in the works.
Recommended for ages 9-13, THE STONE HEART includes some fighting scenes, and an instance of patricide that may especially upset younger readers.
THE STONE HEART by Faith Erin Hicks is available on April 4th, 2017.