While I haven’t read a ton of middle grade books, Ring of Solomon by Aden Polydoros just might be my favorite so far! When Zach finds a magical ring that allows him to talk to animals, he is excited. However, shortly thereafter Ashmedai, the King of Demons, appears and announces that he is the guardian of the ring. Zach and his friends are quickly thrown into an adventure they weren’t expecting.
I loved everything about this book! The plot was very immersive, and I frequently lost myself within the story. It was filled with action and also had complex relationships that moved the story along. Zach was a wonderful protagonist. His point of view felt authentic and realistic, especially in relationship to him being gay. Throughout the whole book I felt as though I was on an adventure with Zach and his friends.
Furthermore, I enjoyed Ashmedai’s character too. I appreciated the way Polydoros depicted the demon king as neither benevolent nor malevolent. I’m not familiar with Jewish mythology and culture, but I liked that the author tied that into the story as well. Likewise, it was interesting to read about a protagonist who identifies as Jewish, but doesn’t consider himself religious.
Overall, this book was one of the most memorable middle grade novels I’ve read! I can’t wait to read the next in the series!