Review of Sheine Lende: A Prequel to Elatsoe

Sheine Lende: A Prequel to Elatsoe Sheine Lende: A Prequel to Elatsoe
by Darcie Little Badger; illus. by Rovina Cai
Middle School, High School    Levine/Levine Querido    400 pp.
4/24    9781646143795    $19.99

Cryptids and Fae abound in the slightly off-kilter version of 1970s Texas that serves as the setting for this prequel to Elatsoe (rev. 9/20). Seventeen-year-old Shane and her mother, Lorenza, work with their bloodhounds (and one ghost hound) to track lost people. But when the search for missing brother and sister Bobby and Donnie results in Lorenza vanishing as well, Shane rushes to the site of the rogue “mimic” fairy ring that apparently took her mother, only to have a stray thought whisk her to Donnie’s location. With Lorenza and Bobby still missing, Shane sets out to research the mimic. Her investigation raises new questions: if Bobby had wished to be reunited with his late parents, could the mimic have sent him Below, where the dead reside? Could Lorenza have followed him there? Shane’s ability to call animals from Below, as well as folk wisdom from her Lipan Apache ancestry, guide her on her journey to rescue them, which is interwoven with flashbacks to Shane’s own tragic family history. This inventive, well-constructed fantasy adventure with grayscale chapter-opening illustrations can be read independently of the first book but will likely send readers scurrying to the shelves to read (or re-read) that one next.

From the May/June 2024 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Anita L. Burkam

Anita L. Burkam
Horn Book reviewer Anita L. Burkam is former associate editor of The Horn Book Magazine.

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