- Page Count: 400
- Release Date: December 27, 2016
- My Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads book description:
Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.
However, it’s not so simple.
The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.
That was a really fun read! It reminded me of several other YA books I love (like Ruined by Amy Tintera), but was also totally its own story.
I don’t want to say much in terms of summarizing the story, though, because everything seems like a spoiler… even basic plot points don’t get revealed until like 65%. So anyways, here’s some spoiler-free thoughts:
The first half of the story did a great job setting the tone for the series by establishing the war, the two kingdoms, and that one kingdom accepts magic while the other persecutes it. Britta wanders around the wilderness a lot with a hot guy, but there’s no risk of instalove because she already has history with him (such a nice change). Then the second half of the story seriously picks up and starts weaving different storylines together and flipping everything you thought you knew around. Also, I LOVED two of the secondary characters so, so much.
The first half of the book was slower moving, but it never got dull or anything because the writing is so solid. It’s a first person narration that actually works — Britta’s voice isn’t naive, annoying, unrealistic, or anything at all annoying. I really liked her! The guys in her life have been pretty controlling and protected her by leaving her or not telling her anything, so a lot of the story is her learning the truth.
The worldbuilding was solid and there was seriously never a single moment I was bored because the writing flowed so well. I was also pretty impressed with how this story managed to be well-rounded while still setting up a ton of leads for the sequels! The last few sentences were bit of a cliffhanger, but also made the next book way more interesting. I just hope I don’t have to wait 1.5 years for it…
Update from early April: I seriously can’t stop thinking about this book’s setting! Like the aesthetic of the forest scenes apparently stayed with me and I just really liked this world?
Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC!
See my Q&A with author Erin Summerill here!