The greatest warrior in all of the Seven Kingdoms… is a girl with yellow eyes.
Kira’s the only female in the king’s army, and the prince’s bodyguard. She’s a demon slayer and an outcast, hated by nearly everyone in her home city of Hansong. And, she’s their only hope…
Murdered kings and discovered traitors point to a demon invasion, sending Kira on the run with the young prince. He may be the savior predicted in the Dragon King Prophecy, but the missing treasure of myth may be the true key. With only the guidance of the cryptic prophecy, Kira must battle demon soldiers, evil shaman, and the Demon Lord himself to find what was once lost and raise a prince into a king.
Intrigue and mystery, ancient lore and action-packed fantasy come together in this heart-stopping first book in a trilogy.
“What an adventure! I fell in love with the lush, richly woven world of PROPHECY. Kira is truly a force to be reckoned with. When I finished my journey with her, all I wanted was more. Spectacular!” – Marie Lu, author of the LEGEND trilogy
“Filled with ancient lore, political intrigue, non-stop action, and a fiercely determined heroine, PROPHECY is a rich and thrilling read—my favorite kind of book!” – Robin LaFevers, author of GRAVE MERCY
“With betrayal, demon attacks, and the threat of war, Prophecy grabs you from the start and never lets go. Oh has written an exciting debut woven with Korean myth and lore, and sets us on a heroine’s journey with Kira that promises more fantastic adventures to come.” – Cindy Pon, author of SILVER PHOENIX and FURY OF THE PHOENIX
Gr 9 Up–Hansong is one of seven ancient kingdoms undergoing infiltration by imps and demons. Kira is a demon slayer, gifted with special abilities since birth. She’s sworn to protect her cousin, the crown prince of Hansong. Kira’s dreams, along with an ancient prophecy, point toward an all-out war, with only one chance for the survival of the human race. So when their kingdom is overtaken by a traitorous lord, Kira and a small gang of loyal friends begin a quest to discover the foretold savior and revenge their families, while saving the world they know. Since the townspeople have no knowledge of the demon threat, Kira is perceived as an assassin instead of a protector. Being feared and hated has been a part of her life since she was a baby. The author’s exploration of Kira’s realistically complex identity is compelling, and the themes of self-acceptance and self-worth are strong. While clearly a coming-of-age story, at its heart, this is a true adventure novel. The characters are well drawn, the plot is both well conceived and fast moving, and the ending is just satisfying enough, while still leaving readers ready for a sequel.
Oh puts her knowledge of Korean history and her training in law to excellent use in crafting this high adventure featuring a female bodyguard who can see dimensions beyond our mortal realm. Kira has been an outcast in her medieval world, except to her father, a general; her loving mother and brother; and the royal family, whose young son she is assigned to guard. But she is an excellent, brave soldier and cannot be ignored when the king’s army is routed, and the prince must be taken to a safer place. Even as Kira pursues her certainty that there is a traitor in the king’s forces, she aches for her own mother and to be relieved of decision making that affects the lives of others. The supernatural elements here are more folkloric than fantasy-tinged. At the core of the story is the exploration of human traits, which leads to an exciting climax and an ending that clears the way for a sequel. Excellent for those who enjoy Lensey Namioka’s YA titles.
Publisher’s Weekly Review:
Newcomer Oh launches the Dragon King Chronicles, a fantasy trilogy equally grounded in Korean folklore and the epic Western tradition of quest adventure. Seventeen-year-old Kira, daughter of the top general in Hansong, calls to mind Robin McKinley’s Aerin Dragon-Killer—physically different from her kin, socially ostracized, psychologically insecure, yet stubborn. This heroine’s gift is the ability to literally sniff out demons and slay them, making Kira invaluable as a bodyguard to her cousin, the crown prince, but unwelcome among sneering court ladies and traditional townsfolk. Kira’s royal relatives are arranging a political marriage she does not want, monks are proclaiming an ancient prophecy about a hero, and treacherous assassins haunt her dreams. It’s a fraught existence, full of combat and touches of human empathy. With its historical setting and focus on adventure, the story should have a broad appeal, including to even younger readers, though there are some scenes of moderately graphic violence. With solid pacing and dialogue, it’s a promising start to this trilogy. Ages 13–up. Agent: Joe Monti, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (Jan.)
In a magical ancient Korea, a demon-slaying princess defends her family and her kingdom.
Kira may be the king’s own niece and Hansong’s lone female warrior, but that doesn’t make her popular. Her yellow eyes and demon-hunting abilities make the citizenry fear her; her male clothing and fighting skills make the nobility loathe her. At least in her role as bodyguard to the heir, her young cousin Taejo, she has a purpose in the court. Hopefully that purpose will be enough to convince her parents not to marry her off to the attractive but vicious nephew of the king’s advisor, Lord Shin. Despite all her suspicions, which are aided by prophetic visions, Kira doesn’t foresee treachery soon enough. Lord Shin lets Yamato soldiers into the castle—many of whom are possessed by demons only Kira can see. She flees with Taejo, and thus begins a prophecy-driven quest to take back their kingdom from the Yamato and avenge their lost. Muddling through on equal parts martial arts and stubbornness, Kira finds new allies and gains desperately needed magical skills.
Fans of Kristin Cashore’s Graceling (2008) will be drawn to the despised warrior princess; fans of Cindy Pon’s Silver Phoenix (2009) will love the setting. (Fantasy. 13-16)