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Once a king
Boston ; New York : HMH Books for Young Readers, 2018.
Physical Description:
451 pages : map ; 22 cm
Series title(s):
Number in series:
Told in two voices, young King Aodren works with Lirra, a Channeler, to dismantle his father's dark legacy and end the divide between Channelers--women with a magical ability--and people without magic.


Call Number
TEEN Summerill, E.
Summerill, E.

On Order



A young king searches for a way to save his kingdom in this romantic fantasy from Erin Summerill, who was called "absolutely marvelous" by New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas.

Aodren: A lonely, young king, searching for a way to dismantle his father's dark legacy.
Lirra : A girl with the power to control the wind, torn between duty and following her dreams

For twenty years, Channelers--women with a magical ability--have been persecuted in Malam by those without magic. Now King Aodren wants to end the bloody divide and unite his kingdom. But decades of hatred can't be overcome by issuing decrees, and rumors of a deadly Channeler-made substance are only fueling people's fears. Lirra has every reason to distrust Aodren. Yet when he asks for help to discover the truth behind the rumors, she can't say no. With Lirra by his side, Aodren sees a way forward for his people. But can he rewrite the mistakes of the past before his enemies destroy the world he's working so hard to rebuild? Erin Summerill returns with a high-stakes fantasy full of romance, magic, and revenge perfect for fans of Susan Dennard and C. J. Redwine.

Author Notes

Erin Summerill was born in England and was a wedding photographer before writing her first novel"Ever the Hunted".

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

This new novel by Summerill (Ever the Brave) is set in the same world as the Clash of Kingdoms series. Channeler Lirra Barrett, 18, can harness the wind and would love to show off her skills at the upcoming Channeler's Jubilee at the All Kingdoms' Summit, but her father, a black-market information specialist, needs her to deliver a letter to King Aodren of Malam, which has a history of eradicating Channelers. Meanwhile, a Channeler has created a healing oil called Sanguine that is making the rounds, and it seems to have deadly side effects. Lirra must stop the spread of the dangerous potion, and she'll need Aodren's help to do it. Lirra is a pragmatic, smart young woman who prides herself on her resiliency, and, against her better judgment, finds herself attracted to Aodren. Political intrigue across the five kingdoms abounds, and much of the action takes place on the tournament field at the All Kingdoms' Summit. Lirra and Aodren's clever banter, cloak-and-dagger derring-do, and tentative, sweet romance are well-drawn in their dual narration. Series fans and new readers will find much to love. Ages 12-up. (Dec.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

Following Ever the Brave (2017), Lirra and Aodren unravel a country-destabilizing conspiracy.Every five years, the All Kingdoms' Summit gathers the various nations' rulers for diplomacy, commerce, a Tournament of Champions, and a Jubilee of Channeler magic. It's come to the kingdom of Shaerdan, and Malam's King Aodren needs a strong showing to prove his kingdom has overcome its trials and is recovering from the damage of Malam's Purge. Lirra has a message from her spymaster father (who's off on a mission; Lirra fears he'll miss her big debut in the Jubilee) for Aodren. The point of view alternates between the two of them (Britta is mentioned but doesn't appear). The action sequences generally cover the various events in the tournament and brawls that are frequently linked to a Channeler oil, Sanguine, a mysterious, popular supplement that some say is dangerous. Aodren, with help from Lirra, must learn the truth about whether the anti-Sanguine sentiment is old Malam anti-Channeler prejudice or if the oil really is dangerous (and will add more fuel to the anti-Channeler fire). While the Sanguine storyline is highly effective as a drug metaphor and the political maneuverings entertain, other story elementssuch as the romantic storyline and the party responsible for the troubleswon't bring any surprises. Characters have a range of skin and eye colors which are free of plot significance.Brain candy for fans of Summerill's worldbuilding. (Fantasy. 12-18) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Lirra is the daughter of the Archtraitor of Malam, an influential royal advisor who renounced his kingdom when rulers began persecuting the magically gifted. Young Lirra lost her mother and suffered grave injuries before escaping Malam with her father. She has no love for Malam's new king, Aodren, a young man who broke the grip of those ruling before him. Readers of Summerill's previous books (Ever the Brave, 2017) know Aodren to be a noble ruler who seeks to heal his kingdom's wounds. However, foes within and without are sabotaging his efforts for renewed unity and strength, and he needs Lirra's expertise with her father's underground world. Like the Graceling trilogy, where each book introduced new protagonists in one fantasy universe, this can stand alone, but the plot depends heavily on previous events. The implications of a world where only women wield magic are left largely unexplored, but Lirra is a fierce heroine whom Aodren respects enormously, and their romance feels honest, if inevitable. A lighter fantasy than Graceling, but for a similar audience.--Carolyn Kelly Copyright 2018 Booklist