Broken Crowns

272p. ebook available. S. & S. Mar. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442496378.
Gr 7 Up—DeStefano's wonderful conclusion to her "Internment Chronicles" trilogy (S. & S.) combines dystopia with a love more complex than simple romance. After the previous volume in the series, King Ingram of Havalais and his soldiers have flown to Internment, the city in the sky, to force King Fulcrum and his people to deliver phosane, the mineral that Ingram believes can be refined to fuel his jets for his war on the neighboring kingdom of Dastor. Ingram holds Fulcrum's daughter, Celeste, hostage in Internment while her beloved, Nim, can only wait below and hope for news. The brilliant Pen has been distant, studying science texts and observing the floating city when she finally comes to her best friend, Morgan, to reveal that Internment is slowly descending. Not long after, Ingram returns and wants Morgan and her betrothed, Basil, to return with him to Internment to convince the people there that cooperation is for the best. Morgan takes Pen's information with her, as well as a packet of letters for Celeste, hoping that she and Basil can somehow keep their city in the air and save everyone they love from the two despots. The primary characters here are in a situation made desperate by tyrants, war, dysfunctional traditions, and simple physics, but their love for each other and their countries allows them to prevail.
VERDICT While violence is ultimately part of the resolution here, it is the characters' steadfastness, cleverness, hope, and love that is celebrated. A triumphant, uplifting dystopia.

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