Chasing the Valley

Skye Melki-Wegner

Chasing the Valley
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Chasing the Valley

Skye Melki-Wegner

Set in a land where magic can be terrifying, Chasing the Valley combines the friendship and camaraderie of Ranger’s Apprentice with the hardship and survival of The Hunger Games - with spectacular results.

Danika is used to struggling for survival. But when the tyrannous king launches an attack to punish her city - echoing the alchemy bombs that killed Danika’s family - she risks her life in a daring escape over the city’s walls.

Danika joins a crew of desperate refugees who seek the Magnetic Valley, a legendary safe haven. But when she accidentally destroys a palace biplane, Danika Glynn becomes the most wanted fugitive in Taladia.

Pursued by the king’s vicious hunters and betrayed by false allies, Danika also grapples with her burgeoning magical abilities. And when she meets the mysterious Lukas, she must balance her feelings against her crew’s safety.

Chasing the Valley
is the first book in an epic trilogy of magic, treachery and survival.


From young Australian author Skye Melki-Wegner comes another addition to the dystopian-fantasy genre. Yet there’s more alchemy than brutality to Chasing the Valley, and I’d recommend this one to a range of younger readers, from the keen 9-year-olds who love Percy Jackson right up to Hunger Games fans in their early teens. The fantasy elements feel like safer territory and the romance is barely there.

Teenage hero Danika Glynn is brave and considerate, with hardly a chink in her armour. Orphaned under King Morrigan’s deadly reign – his army uses alchemic bombs to keep order – Danika lives on the streets. One night she seizes the opportunity to escape the city walls and tag onto a team of youngsters, all with different reasons for risking their lives in the pursuit of freedom from tyranny.

The crew’s focus is the Valley, the only place safe from Morrigan’s weaponry. They have giant creatures called foxaries on their side and are each developing a ‘proclivity’ – a magical power connected to a specific aspect of nature, such as Beast, Darkness or Fire. But after Danika inadvertently shoots down one of the king’s bomber planes, they also have a price on their heads. Action-packed and entertaining.

Emily Gale is a Children’s & YA Specialist at Readings Carlton, and a Children’s & YA writer the rest of the time.

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