Sona and the Golden Beasts

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Newbery Honor winner Rajani LaRocca’s debut middle grade fantasy novel sees a young girl go on an epic adventure and battle the lasting effects of colonialism and greed to save her homeland.

Sona hears music everywhere, even though it has long been outlawed in the land of Devia. Sona is a descendant of the Malechs, foreigners who took over Devia centuries ago. Malechs put Devans to work mining gems and forbade music, so Devans can’t cast their own magic anymore.

But Sona’s world shifts after discovering an orphaned wolf pup. She believes the pup, with its golden ears, might be related to one of the five sacred beasts of Devia, which a Malechian Hunter has been killing one by one. And when someone Sona loves falls ill, she is drawn into a quest with a Devan boy to retrieve the nectar of life. On the perilous journey, Sona must try to avoid the deadly Hunter while keeping her companions safe. But as she uncovers secrets about the Malechian empire and her own identity, Sona realizes that the fate of the sacred beasts, and the future of Devia, just might come down to her.

This latest middle grade novel by Newbery Honor and Walter Award–winning author Rajani LaRocca will sweep readers into Sona’s quest across the land of Devia as she grapples with the lasting impact of colonial rule and learns to fight for what she knows is right. A must-read for fans of Roshani Chokshi and Sayantani DasGupta.

Rajani LaRocca was born in India, raised in Kentucky, and now lives in Massachusetts, where she practices medicine and writes award-winning books for young readers, including the Newbery Honor–winning novel in verse, Red, White, and Whole. She’s always been an omnivorous reader, and now she is an omnivorous writer of novels and picture books, fiction and nonfiction, in prose and poetry. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, she lives outside Boston with her family

“An epic journey woven with breathtaking prose and a spellbinding and treacherous tale. A new classic, with the power to heal and triumph.” -Donna Barba Higuera, Newbery Medal-winning author of The Last Cuentista

"Spellbinding and vivid. Rajani LaRocca has created a magical realm like no other, a hero to cheer for, and a mystery that grows deeper with every page turn. Like all great fantasy, the world of Sona and the Golden Beasts shines a powerful light on our own." -Christina Soontornvat, three-time Newbery Honor recipient

“LaRocca’s intricate South Asian–inspired world is richly developed. A fully immersive and enchanting fantasy that readers will get lost in.” -Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"A meaningful and magical exploration of tough topics through a memorable lens.” -Booklist (starred review)

“A lush, spirited story that explores the harm of colonialism, the power of friendship, and the depths of forgiveness and faith.” -Publishers Weekly

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