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Reviewed by David Korson for Readers' Favorite
Mercy Markos and the Blades of Betrayal by Sally Gratz Garcia is a clever coming-of-age fantasy that hits all the marks. Growing up in a community responsible for protecting Earth’s elements can be difficult for a young girl. But Mercy Markos faces her toughest challenges when she enters the Tray, a school designed to train students to develop their elemental powers. With the emergence of unexpected abilities, the discovery of a pertinent prophecy, and brushes with villains, Mercy will have her hands full with more than just homework assignments. Fortunately, she makes some trustworthy friends to help her navigate the complexities of the mysterious school. Though she has a lot to juggle during her first year at the Tray, with her friends by her side, Mercy is determined to uncover a truth concealed for decades.
If you’ve ever been enamored with a grand tale of an unwitting character attending a whimsical school for special kids, you’ll enjoy reading Mercy Markos and the Blades of Betrayal. Though some broad similarities exist between Sally Gratz Garcia’s book and other enchanted-school fantasy novels, the distinct characters and unique world-building place this book in a class of its own. The world is replete with history and nuances that bring it alive, and a burgeoning conspiracy adds a depth of intrigue and tension that kept me glued to the pages. Led by a young protagonist discovering where she fits into the world, Mercy Markos and the Blades of Betrayal is an enthralling and engaging mystery set in a meticulously crafted fantasy world.