I love Aden Polydoros’ books and when I saw he had a middle grade I was so excited. His books hit a very special place for me, and Ring of Solomon continues that trend.
Zach and his younger sister, Naomi, find an old ring at the flea market and plan to get it for their mom for her birthday as she collects Judaica, but when they realize they can use the ring to communicate with animals, Zach decides to keep it for himself. He’s been being bullied for a while now and the teachers don’t do anything, so he makes a wish of sorts to be able to enact revenge on Jeremy and ends up awakening Ashmedai, the King of Demons.
This is definitely a fitting addition to the realm of mythology inspired middle grade novels and I loved all the Jewish lore and history. I also really love how Zach is fascinated by classic horror movies and it brings up small comments about monstrosity and who is the monster in a story. It also explores ideas of how someone is portrayed influences who they are and who they become. After all, Ashmedai may be a demon, but that doesn’t mean Solomon was an angel for trapping him. I love that this is a theme Aden continues to explore in different aspects with his books, and I’m looking forward to the continuation of Zach’s adventures.
Overall this is a really fun, exciting middle grade novel and I can’t wait to see what’ll be next for Zach and his friends! Definitely recommend if you’re a fan of books like Percy Jackson and want a story inspired by Jewish lore.