From School Library Journal
Gr 5-10-Barron leaves Arthurian legend behind to explore the legend of Atlantis, beginning with Promi, a young thief with a strong sweet tooth, who angers his city's leaders by stealing a jeweled belt buckle from the evil Deputy High Priest Grukarr. Promi soon learns that he has become part of an ongoing conflict between good and evil. The forces of evil are led by Grukarr, while the forces of good are embodied in Atlanta, a girl with magical powers and a love of nature. While Promi and Atlanta have different views on things like the importance of eating sweets, they soon develop a friendship and work together to defeat Grukarr's plans to destroy Atlanta's beloved forest home. A mysterious prophecy, magical creatures, and visits to the spirit realm add complexity to the ongoing action as Promi faces a variety of dangers and learns how to use his own magical abilities. Atlanta and Promi's relationship grows realistically as they work together, and Promi learns about sacrificing his own pleasure for what really matters. The conclusion is bittersweet and explains the creation of Atlantis, leaving room for sequels. While there's more action than character development, fans of Barron's many books about Merlin will find much to enjoy here, as will those who loved of Rick Riordan's "Percy Jackson" books (Hyperion).-Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WIα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Promi lives by his wits as a knife-wielding thief in the City of Great Powers, caring only about himself. A chance involvement with a young girl named Atlanta involves him in the conflict between grasping evil priest Grukarr and the young girl, who is defending the last natural magic in the land of Ellegandia. Can Promi care enough about something other than himself to fulfill his destiny? An author’s foreword indicates that this is Barron’s vision of the birth of Atlantis, but the bulk of the book is about Promi and his journey, with only a few pages at the end indicating the island’s creation as a consequence of Promi’s actions. This ably developed fantasy fits comfortably within the young-person-discovering-his-magical-talents category, although those who liked, for example, the Septimus Heap series may find this a bit slowgoing. Each chapter begins with journal quotes from Promi and an unnamed source (it isn’t clear if it is Atlanta or someone else), and maps bracket the story, showing Ellegandia and Atlantis. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: With the Merlin Saga and the Heartlight Saga, Barron established himself as one of the go-to guys for middle-grade fantasy. Comic-Con promotions will only increase demand. Grades 4-8. --Cindy Welch