Format: Arc Paperback
Published: 5th Jan 2012
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Genre: YA Fantasy, Romance
Source: Author for review
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Wilde Island is in an uproar after the recent death of its king. The uneasy pact between dragons, fairies, and humans is fraying, and a bloodthirsty witch hunter with a hidden agenda whips villages into frenzies with wild accusations. Tess, a blacksmith’s daughter from a tiny hamlet near the mysterious Dragonswood, finds herself caught in the crosshairs of fate when she is accused of witchery and has to flee for her life along with her two best friends. Not even Tess’s power to see the future can help the girls as they set off on their desperate journey, but she keeps having visions of a man wielding a sword. And when she finally meets him, Tess has no idea how to handle the magnetic attraction she feels for him, or the elusive call she hears from the heart of the Dragonswood. In this epic romance, an ancient prophecy comes true in a way neither dragon, fairy, nor human would have predicted.
Tess, is a young girl who never feels complete, and who is searching for the right place to be in life. She always feels a pull into the woods surrounding her home, but has no idea why. With the "crosshairs of fate" at work, she finds herself being on trial for being a witch, which ultimately leads her and her friends on a journey of a lifetime. The trials and tribulations she and her friends face on their travels, are the fantasy version of real life, with a heady mix of romance, adventure, determination and self discovery. The mix of which gives way to make this book what it is.
This book for me personally, was really good. It was written in a good way, with realistic characters, albeit fantasy based ones, and a plot that can be easily related to by most people. The main character faces a daily turmoil relating to both herself and her friends, and that comes through easily, and had my turning the pages to find out what happened next. The fantasy element in the book keeps the story alive with the many twists and turns it takes, leading the characters to explore further personal discovery.
The one draw back for this book for me however, is that at certain parts i found it to be somewhat predictable. It had a feeling of an inverted prince meets princess story. While it still had me enticed for the most part, i found myself having to force myself to go on at others.
This is leveled out with the twists and turns, so its not a bad read. It does have the ability to be a fantastic read for others, though i personally felt a little let down at some points, though i wont give them away.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in fey, witches, and dragons, as it is something that will keep the pages turning for the most part given a good chance.
I look forward to the next offering from Janet Lee Carey, because if this book was anything to go by, the next will be just as good, if not better :D