The Mysterious Queen of Magic by Joan Lowery Nixon, 1981.
This is part of the Kleep: Space Detective series.
Kleep and Till meet a strange young man who is looking for Kleep’s grandfather, Arko. The young man, Mikkel, tells them a wild story, that an evil wizard is after him. He is controlling Mikkel’s people on the planet Durth, putting them under a spell and forcing them to become his slaves. Mikkel believes that Arko may have the key to getting rid of him because an old wise man told him to ask Arko how to find Queen Stellara. Queen Stellara was a legendary queen who could do magic, and Arko has some old write-rolls, scrolls of the kind people used to use before people began using computers alone for learning, that talk about her and her kingdom. However, Arko doesn’t believe in wizards or magic spells or anything of the kind.
Kleep remembers Arko telling her the old stories from the write-rolls when she was little, and unlike her grandfather, she believes that wizards and magic may be real and wants to try to help Mikkel. When Arko says that he doesn’t believe in magic and can’t help Mikkel, Kleep and her friend Till decide to use the scrolls to try to help Mikkel find Queen Stellara. Taking Kleep’s robot, Zibbit, with them, they journey to the planet Loctar, where Queen Stellara was supposed to live.
Although this series is mostly sci-fi with a bit of mystery thrown in, this book is more fantasy. When Kleep and her friends arrive on the planet Loctar, they discover that they must face a series of challenges to reach the legendary queen’s palace, like heros in a fairy tale. Magic is real, and they must prove themselves worthy in order to meet the queen and ask her for the solution to the problem of the evil wizard. But, their ordeal doesn’t quite end there because, while Queen Stellara provides them with the means to fight the wizard, they must face him themselves!
A little corny, but fun, although it’s not my favorite book in the series. The others were more sci-fi, and this is more fantasy. Also, for a “detective” series, there isn’t much mystery, more adventure. It sort of reminds me of the original Star Trek episode Catspaw, except that the magical beings in this one are apparently really magical and not just aliens. Like the other books in this series, I like the pictures, too.