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Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
Children of Maya by Christopher Vastag is a young adult epic fantasy set in a fantasy universe where certain humans have an animal form. Maria is a rabbit changeling enslaved and made to work in the gold mine. Living in the kingdom of Kaskilia, Maria knows the prey changelings have to be careful and stay out of the way of the predator changelings. As a slave bunny changeling, Maria was lower than the lowest and to a wolf changeling King, she and the others like her are nothing more than food. However, when Maria starts getting visions of Maya, the mother goddess, she knows there is some hope for everyone. Starting a revolt against the Khaytan clan is easy, but making it a success is not. Gathering other changelings of prey together, she works hard to remind them of the forgotten faith and pray they succeed. When Prince Reginald, the tyrant King’s son comes into the mix, things change. While the duo figures out a way to find the best course of action to stop the King and the Khaytan cult, they have to fight off the attraction between them and work out their issues if they want to succeed.
Surprisingly easy to read, author Christopher Vastag incorporates the Hybrid AU trope from the fanfiction world into Children of Maya with exciting results. Having read multiple great fanfictions with the same trope, I found this story to be entertaining with strong characters. I think what makes the story so entertaining is the narrative style, which is conversational without being pretentious. It is quick to read without being hard to keep up. The author refrains from painting any breed (or class of people) to be wholly good or bad. Instead, he shows the good and the bad from both classes and allows the reader to make their own decisions. The use of Latin names made the story feel more authentic whereas the dialogues brought the characters to life. Maria and Reginald are very different from each other, yet they have many similarities. They both have a different version of an ideal Kaskilia and because of that, they butt heads a lot. Their banter made me laugh and enjoy the story even more. The author developed them with plenty of room to grow and become the heroes they are meant to be. Children of Maya is fantastic in my opinion