Danger and Other Unknown Risks

Penguin Workshop. Apr. 2023. 208p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9780593224823; pap. $16.99. ISBN 9780593224847.
Gr 9 Up–Marguerite is the Chosen One on a quest to eliminate a dark magic that could destroy an already fractured world. Raised by her uncle Bernard, who survived the cataclysmic arrival of magic in 2000 AD, Marguerite utilizes a singular spell and a talking dog companion, Daisy, in pursuit of three magic totems across magically separated realms. The titular “other unknown risks” come from changes between realms: Marguerite’s spell has a different effect and cost everywhere she goes. Each realm’s inhabitants wield their own unique spells to help and hinder. Daisy and Marguerite have a close bond, reinforced in dire and lighthearted scenes. This is as much a road trip buddy comedy as it is an epic quest. Detail and lighting are applied according to mood, with Henderson expertly sliding between casual travel vibes and high-stakes encounters. Flashbacks to Marguerite’s upbringing with Uncle Bernard flesh out both their characters, while subtle clues hint at game-changing twists to come. Bernard is white; Marguerite has brown skin. The cast has a diverse range of skin tones.
VERDICT Past and present collide in a magical showdown for the fate of the world. Make sure Squirrel Girl fans get a front row seat.

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