K.M. Levis brings a 16th century Filipino epic poem to a new audience in her upcoming YA novel.

Filipino-Australian author Kristyn Maslog-Levis re-imagines the classic Filipino tale, Ibong Adarna (Bird Adarna) in her latest young adult novel, ‘The Search for Adarna’.

The book follows Anna Waldorf-Ocampo, who wants to get away from the ever-present scrutiny that comes with her famous name. She will do anything to avoid dealing with her ruthless older half sister, Elizabeth, although she gets along with her belittled other half sister, Olivia.

Tragedy strikes when their father is felled by a mysterious illness that has no cure. The family’s only hope lies in a bird called the Adarna, a mythical creature that can only be found in the Philippine jungle.

The three sisters are each tasked to search for the elusive creature. Whoever retrieves it first will inherit their father’s billion-dollar empire, but they must hurry, or they will lose their father forever.

“I was inspired by the retelling of classic fairytales like Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. But instead of using western tales, I wanted something with a Filipino flavor. The story of Adarna was one of my favourite stories as a child and so I thought, why not bring that story into the 21st century,” said Maslog-Levis.

Kristyn has self-published two children’s picture books on Amazon titled ‘The Dragon and The Lizard’ and ‘We Have It All’.

She has also published two novels before 'The Search for Adarna' that were also inspired by Filipino folktales and legends, titled ‘The Girl Between Two Worlds’ and ‘The Girl Between Light and Dark’.

Hard copies will be available in selected National Book Store branches later this month. The e-book version will also be available in Kobo and Amazon.

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