|February 2014; ebook (264 pages); YA fantasy|
This book has the feeling like the start of a series. Ethyrin's homeland and its dangers are outlined in detail, but then he's thrust into an entirely new landscape. The machinations within the slaveholders' lands give a feeling of impending dread, and the narrative focuses tightly on Ethyrin and Nuara. It adds to the claustrophobic feeling within the text, even as they cross a vast desert. They are the only ones they can rely on, and Ethyrin is lost and out of place. Even so, he struggles to do the right thing and aid Nuara as he promised, even at risk to himself.
The book has very spare language and descriptions but feels very much like it could be a sprawling, epic series. The issue with Ethyrin's uncle isn't solved, after all, and there are teases of a larger conflict at hand. Still, it was good to see Ethyrin start to grow up, and for Nuara to start coming out of her prickly shell. If there are more books in the series, they'll hopefully be just as enjoyable a read.
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Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.
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