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Bern Roger
Miona's Great Games
B. C. Roger, author
Miona and her classmates enter the Great Games, the national batteryrun tournament played every five years between Trowond’s best teams—held this year in distant, crime-riddled Montahra. There, she’ll not only have to stay on the team despite those of her teammates who want her out, and do her best to help her team win, but also carry out a secret mission that could lead her straight to jail. Her new powers might help her—if she can control them. Or they could attract the wrong attention…
The second installment in A Charmer’s World, Roger’s rousing middle grade fantasy, follows up Shadows on the School Grounds as Miona, a human slave with a cat-like master, and her team–with “batteryrun” armor and battery sabers–accept the honor of attending the Great Games as one of the few cub teams to compete. What Miona’s teammates don’t know is that she and her friend, Selke, also have a secret mission to complete for the Renaissance, a group that fights for the rights of slaves. But the greatest challenge Miona and her team will face are her own teammates: Poisonohl and his gang refuse to play as one unit and instead focus on their hatred for the slaves–Miona especially–and will stop short of nothing to get her off the team.

Middle grade readers who are fans of made-up fantasy games will relish the details and excitement of the batteryrun competition, as Miona and friends battle on the field. Young girls especially will love that Miona is one of the best and toughest players on the team, and certainly not the only girl. Girls, both human and catlike and reptilian, here have their own strengths and talents that bring a unique diversity to the co-ed team. The tale also emphasizes the importance of teamwork and how poorly events can turn out for those who refuse to work with others.

Sports aren’t the only thing happening in Miona’s Great Games, of course, as Roger continues to offer the mystery, magic, and age-appropriate political discord the first book promised, with a spunky Miona in the middle of it all. Miona works to control—not always successfully—her newfound mindforce ability while trying to pull off a secret mission for the Renaissance during the games and figure out the identity of the man hunting her–and which of her enemies at school are helping him–making for a fun, action-packed fantasy of friends and courage.

Takeaway: A fun, action-packed fantasy chock-full of magic, mystery, and a brave young girl facing it all.

Great for fans of: Marie Lu’s Legend series; K.F. Breene and Shannon Mayer’s Shadowspell Academy.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: B+
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A