As winter winds down, I find myself craving a bit of fun and sparkle, and I doubt I’m alone in that. Jessica Khoury delivers in Last Of Her Name, her sixth book for young adults, a 400-page space opera that poses the age-old question: what if Anastasia, but in space?
Stacia Androvna, 17, has grown up in a small town on an unimportant planet at the far reaches of what used to be the Leonov Empire. An accomplished mechanic, she spends her days with her parents and her best friends Clio and Pol. That all changes one day, when the Director of the Committee that overthrew the monarchy sixteen years ago rounds up all the young women in town and demands that one of them identify herself as Anya Leonova, the only member of the royal family not executed at the time of the revolution. Stacia is astonished when she herself is identified as the lost princess, smuggled out of the palace as an infant before the deaths of the rest of her family.
A lot of things happen after that– revolutionary politics, space mechanics, daring rescue missions, meeting a race of people able to control gravity through magic– but this is the beating heart of the novel. A normal girl, plucked from obscurity by the revelation that she’s secretly been the most important person in the galaxy all along. Revelations and plot twists keep the action-adventure entertaining while remaining fundamentally frothy and fun, which is just the ticket to get you through the dull, gray slog as late winter fades out.
Last Of Her Name is out today, February 26. Watch out for it on the library’s New Teen Fiction shelf in the coming weeks!