Monster hunting isn't for the faint of heart the first in a brand-new middle-grade series by NYT bestselling author, Kelley Armstrong.
Twelve-year-old Rowan is destined to be Queen; her twin brother, Rhydd, to be Royal Monster Hunter. Rowan would give anything to switch places, but the oldest child is always next in line, even if she is only older by two minutes. She resigns herself to admiring her monster hunting aunt's glorious sword and joining her queen mother for boring diplomatic teas. But tragedy shatters the longstanding rule, and Rowan finds herself hunting the most dangerous monster of all: a gryphon.
Accompanied by a feisty baby jackalope and a giant wolf that barely tolerates her, Rowan sets off on a journey that will see her join other unlikely allies: a boy with monster-hunting ambitions of his own, and a girl hiding dangerous motives. It will take all of Rowan's skills, both physical and diplomatic, to keep this adventure on track. The future of her kingdom depends on it.
About the Author
KELLEY ARMSTRONG is the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of three trilogies for teens: the Darkest Powers; Darkness Rising and Age of Legends, as well as several thriller and fantasy series for adults and three YA thrillers (The Masked Truth, Missing and Aftermath). She is also the co-author (with Melissa Marr) of the Blackwell Pages series, a middle-grade fantasy series based on Norse gods. The Masked Truth received a starred review from PW ("overflowing with twists"), while Missing received a starred review from VOYA ("a compelling thriller that keeps the reader hooked until the end"). Visit Kelley online at kelleyarmstrong.com
Read an Excerpt
“I know you love unicorns, Rowan, but please stop staring at mine. You’re making him nervous.
”I do not love unicorns, as my aunt Jannah knows. Jerks. All of them. I’m not staring at Courtois. I’m staring him down. Unfortunately, she’s wrong about the third part, too. I can’t make him nervous, no matter how hard I try.
We’re in the castle courtyard, the high stone walls stealing the morning sun. Around us, the royal hunters prepare for their mission. A mission I should be joining. My twin brother, Rhydd, is and I belong at his side, keeping him safe.
As I scowl at Courtois, Rhydd’s hand thumps on my shoulder. “Give it up, Ro.”
“That beast stepped on my foot,” I say. “On purpose.”
“Yep, I’m sure he did. He is a unicorn.”
I move away from Courtois only to stumble over my aunt’s warg, Malric. The giant wolf lifts his head, upper lip curling to reveal canines as long as my hand. The last person who tried to pet him lost two fingers. Even I know better. I quickstep out of his reach.
“Making friends with all the monsters this morning, aren’t you?” Rhydd teases.
As I grumble, he leans in to whisper, “I know you’re upset. You’re worried about me going on the gryphon hunt.”
“I’m not wor—”
“You’re worried, and this is how you show it. By grumbling and scowling and staring down unicorns.”
“It’s not fair.”
“I know,” he says.
My scowl deepens, and I want to kick the dirt and growl and stomp. That would be childish, though, and I am not a child. I’m twelve. I’m a princess. One day, I’ll be queen.
I don’t want to be queen. I’ll be horrible at it. Rhydd should get the throne. Even now, as scared as he is, he’s trying to calm me. That’s what a real leader does.
“Rhydd?” Jannah calls. “Saddle up.”
As Jannah climbs onto Courtois, her sheathed sword swings by her side. I look at that sword, a gleaming ebony-wood center with a razor-sharp obsidian edge. I imagine it in my hands, and a lump rises in my throat.
This is who I want to be. This is who I should be. Not the queen, but the royal monster hunter. Everyone knows it. I hear the whispers, how my thoughtful brother should sit on the ivory throne, how his headstrong twin sister should wield the ebony sword.
Excerpted from "A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying"
Copyright © 2019 Kelley Armstrong.
Excerpted by permission of PRH Canada Young Readers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Loved this book. I want the next one NOW. Hopefully it won't be a year to wait. Lots of action, well paced story of the princess who wants to be The monster Hunter, and for her brother to be king, not the way it currently stands, they both know each other would be better in the reverse roles. Rowen decides she needs to watch her brother's back when he goes off to hunt with their aunt. Along the way she meets unexpected creatures who just won't leave her side. Excitement, death, self questioning and using logic and keeping calm are all needed to survive her ordeals. Adventure abounds and they never let up for this fun ride of a new series, I can't wait to share this book with a 13 and 10 year old who I think will binge read this like I did.
I've heard so many fantastic things about Kelley Armstrong but have never had the time to check out any of her books, I was so happy to see this available on Netgalley and I was not disappointed at all. First of all, the cover art is so cute and such a joy to see! It's so rare to see a fantasy novel where the main character is a person of color especially a young black girl so that is a delight. Reading this I was instantly engrossed. Meet Princess Rowan, she's a courageous, stubborn, and hardcore 12 year old. She is next in line to the throne but after the untimely death of her monster slaying aunt she finds herself as the successor as the royal monster. BUT and of course there's always a but, that's only possible if she kills the dreaded gryphon that plagues her kingdom and killed both her father and aunt. She's on a quest! And she of course meets all kinds of danger along the way but she also befriends both monsters and humans alike. I cannot rave about this book enough. It was so sweet and enjoyable and I was on pins and needles the entire time. The characters were hilarious and the creatures seemed sweet and scary. Kelly Armstrong usually writes more adult fiction novels but she's also seemed to find her niche in middle grade and it's fantastic.