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A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying: 09/10/19
A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying by Kelley Armstrong is a middle grade fantasy set in a kingdom made up of clans. The ruling clan divides the matters of state between the two oldest siblings. The eldest becomes the monarch and the second eldest becomes the monster slayer.
Twelve year old Rowan as the oldest of fraternal twins is in line to be queen. Her brother is set to be the next monster slayer. There's just one problem. She's the better warrior and he's a better diplomat.
The kingdom is reeling from the recent death of the king, killed by a gryphon. Rowan, her brother, and the current monster slayer go on the hunt to stop an attack at a farm. Unfortunately the gryphon appears, kills the monster hunter, and injures the future monster hunter. Rowan sees this as the chance to set things to rights — to switch positions with her slightly younger brother.
The remainder of the book is Rowan trying to prove her worthiness to be the next monster slayer. With her father and aunt now dead, other clans are vying for the throne. They give Rowan an impossible sounding task — kill the gryphon or forfeit.
But this isn't about Rowan becoming the unstoppable hunter she imagines herself as. Instead, she learns more about the world in which she lives and the monsters who live here too. She harnesses new ways of being a monster hunter.
This book reads like an older reader version of the Magical Animal Adoption Agency by Kallie George. The themes are the same: learning about magical animals and learning how to be a better person.