Last Gate of the Emperor: Blog Tour

From Kwame Mbalia and Prince Joel Makonnen comes an Afrofuturist adventure about a mythical Ethiopian empire. Sci-fi and fantasy combine in this epic journey to the stars.

Thanks to Terminal Tours, I got to be on the tour for this adventures journey. The book is out May 4th and available wherever books are sold.

An Afrofuturist adventure about a mythical Ethiopian empire. Sci-fi and fantasy combine in this journey to the stars.

Yared Heywat lives an isolated life in Addis Prime -- a hardscrabble city with rundown tech, lots of rules, and not much to do. His worrywart Uncle Moti and bionic lioness Besa are his only family... and his only friends.

Often in trouble for his thrill-seeking antics and smart mouth, those same qualities make Yared a star player of the underground augmented reality game, The Hunt for Kaleb's Obelisk. But when a change in the game rules prompts Yared to log in with his real name, it triggers an attack that rocks adventurethe city. In the chaos, Uncle Moti disappears.

Suddenly, all the stories Yared's uncle told him as a young boy are coming to life, of kingdoms in the sky and city-razing monsters. And somehow Yared is at the center of them.

Together with Besa and the Ibis -- a game rival turned reluctant ally -- Yared must search for his uncle... and answers to his place in a forgotten, galaxy-spanning war.


This book was great from start to finish. Boys and girls alike will love the futuristic setting and high-octane action. This is a well-written, fast-paced read with lots of twists and turns that will keep you guessing.

Yared and The Iris are not a match made in heaven, but their friendship grows past competition and I think that's a HUGE message for young readers. Yared is viewed as a trouble maker in school when in reality he's trying to figure out who he really is as a person. The story begins with just him and his uncle, but deep inside he longs for a real family. A mother. This is a very character-driven book so it was nice to see someone like Yared in literature.

This whole book is a whirlwind! Despite being an adult, I found myself in awe of all the tech described in the book so, I think kids are going to enjoy it a lot. This is due in part to the wonderful writing of both authors.

Overall, this book is perfect for readers of all ages, and I think will be one of the best middle-grade books of 2021

Add it to Goodreads:


KWAME MBALIA is a husband, father, writer, a New York Times

bestselling author, and a former pharmaceutical metrologist in that

order. He is the author of Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, a

Coretta Scott King Honor book. He lives with his family in North Carolina.

Visit him online at

PRINCE JOEL MAKONNEN is the great-grandson of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I, the last emperor of Ethiopia. He is an attorney and the co-founder of Old World/New World, a media and entertainment company focused on telling powerful African stories that inspire global audiences through film, TV and books. He lives with his wife, Ariana, in Los Angeles.

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