A magical young adult fantasy.
From the beginning first few paragraphs you just get the feeling like this story is going to be epic. The author has a way of telling stories through her characters as if you are content and just sitting around a fire waiting for the warmth to lull you to a comfortable sleep.
Ultimately, this is the story of Aeryn, a sixteen year old girl who has discovered that she has magic. She lives in a cold remote village in the far north who only ever hears of things beyond the town by the garrison soldiers that bring back news. Her magical affinity is something that is desired of war mages. She is warned by a trusted elder not to seek the life of a war mage.
There is a lot of world building and a ton of unique characters. I can be pretty single minded when reading and mostly only care about the main characters. But the author created very richly layered secondary characters that I had no choice but to become attached to. I especially liked the positive adventure seeking Knight, Sir Idris.
Another thing that I appreciated was all of the different scenarios that happen. Everything that happens is exciting and engaging. From Aeryn being overwhelmed and unable to control her magic.A journey to King City where Aeryn must help infiltrate a camp to lift a saddle. To being infiltrated herself by a suspicious and evil looking teacher, Raelon. All ‘scenes’ are super interesting.
While there is no romance in this, there is the hint of something bubbling. Aeryn meets a girl a few years older than her that is a healer. She develops a bit of a crush. But the girl is bonded to an older male healer. So there is also an element of jealousy.
Overall, I really liked this book. I have not read a lot of fantasy and I’m not sure if everything in this book is standard for the genre. But for me, I felt like it was all very unique and creative.
Not much to critique. There were some places where the pacing slowed a bit too much. A major plot point was predictable from the beginning and therefore did not pack quite the punch it probably intended. And this ended on a cliffhanger of sorts. So don’t expect any resolution when reading this.
I heard that there is a book two coming out soon. I can’t wait!
I recommend this to people who like to read young adult, fantasy, world building, magic, deceit, traveling, war, sparring, and first crushes.