Book Review: Estranged: The Changeling King by Ethan M. Aldridge

Estranged: The Changeling King

Author: Ethan M. Aldridge

Publication Date: 01 October 2019

Genre: Graphic Novel – Middle Grade Fantasy

Pages: 256

Publisher: HarperCollins

After years of pretending to be human, the changeling Edmund Carter has assumed his rightful role as Cinder, king of the World Below. But not everyone at the royal palace is happy about his return.

Meanwhile, Ed is adjusting to human life in the World Above. His birth family treats him with a kindness he never knew growing up in the Fay court, but Ed misses the sense of purpose he had as a knight.

When a mysterious new threat emerges in the World Below, Cinder must call on Ed and their older sister, Alexis, for help. But nothing can prepare them for the family secret that awaits at the end of their perilous quest.

With over two hundred pages of gorgeous watercolor paintings, The Changeling King invites readers on an epic journey through a magical world—one they will not soon forget.

As soon as I finished Estranged, I couldn’t wait to pick up The Changeling King and re-immerse myself into this beautifully rich fantasy world that Ethan Aldridge has created.

King Cinder is still trying to adjust to his royal obligations as king of the Fae in the World Below. As to be expected, he must oversee the council meetings, which usually end in the goblins and Fae wanting to slaughter each other on site. While these meetings are utterly frustrating, one thing has become clear…magic is getting weaker and Cinder must find a way to keep magic from disappearing.

Ed is trying to navigate the World Above. He’s the epitome of the perfect son and brother. However, his parents and sister Alexis are worried about him since he’s struggling to find his purpose in the human world. When a royal letter from Cinder requests the help of Alexis and Ed, they spring into action to go help their brother with their parents in tow.

I found The Changeling King to be so much more emotionally charged than Estranged, and I absolutely loved it. Here we see the internal struggle that both boys face when it comes to finding the answers that they desperately seek. Ed battles with his purpose and why the Fae Queen chose him. Cinder struggles with being abandoned and is frightened of losing the one family he’s ever known to Ed. There were several heart string tugging moments.

I loved that this story gave us an even greater insight into the World Below especially with Whick getting a promotion to royal cartographer. Whick’s upgrade in sass was much appreciated. He’s definitely one of my favorite characters. I also loved watching Artemis’ and Alexis’ friendship reach new levels as well. Honestly, the character development in this story is just incredible. I appreciated all of their complexities and how each character added a layer of depth to the story rather than just being a side character.

Overall, Estranged: The Changeling King is an incredibly beautiful coming of age story that focuses on self-discovery and the importance of family and friends. I absolutely cannot wait for the next adventure that Cinder and Ed take on next.

Thank you to Wunderkind PR and HarperCollins for providing a finished copy for review. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

You can get your copy of Estranged: The Changeling King here!

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