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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
In Chrysalis by Ken Altabef, dangerous ogres have come to Angkara and started a reign of terrorizing the people. Their very presence can paralyze someone with fear. With the last of her line gone, Reina conceives an heir that will have the power to defeat the ogres and will have a mentor, Tark, to offer guidance. Ten years later, Astra is living on her father's farm and running free with her siblings when a visit from the ogres changes everything. Astra discovers a surprising secret of her origins and learns the only power that could stop the ogres is one she can harness. She harnesses her new abilities under Tark's guidance and discovers the strength of her power when someone she loves needs to be rescued from the clutches of the ogres.
Chrysalis by Ken Altabef is an adventure that brilliantly blends science fiction and fantasy in a tale about family, power, and courage. The story weaves through various perspectives with the primary focus being on Tark, Astra, and her family. The core of the story is Astra's discovery of her true lineage which pulls her off the farm and opens up a destiny that not only leads her to learn about what she's capable of but also gives her the power to make a difference. Altabef weaves together the threat of the ogres and Astra's journey of discovery with both storylines taking surprising turns along the way. The stories of her family are told through the use of visions which allow her to truly connect her with her past while also delving into the history of the family. The visions feel like their own stories with an array of characters whose actions impact the course of events and the truth behind Astra's existence. The visions introduce several characters with Pearl and Keth both playing a part in the war against a neighboring area. Each of their stories is just as fascinating and important as Astra's and Tark's, with each making you want to learn more about them. Chrysalis is a unique story that puts an alien spin on the idea of ogres while weaving in themes of destiny, lineage, power, and family.