- Page Count: 384
- Release Date: September 23, 2014
- My Rating: 2 stars
Goodreads book description:
Lark has foreseen two things—she will fall for a young man with sage green eyes,and he will kill her. Sixteen-year-old Lark Carew is happiest close to home, tending her garden and gathering herbs for medicines. But when her Sight warns her that monsters called Troths will soon invade her village, Lark is summoned on a journey to seek help from the legendary Riders of Tarnec. Little does she suspect that one of the Riders, Gharain, is the very man who has haunted her visions. Or that the people of Tarnec have called her there for another reason: Lark is the Guardian of Life, the first of four Guardians who must awaken their powers to recover four stolen amulets. Together, the amulets—Life, Death, Dark, and Light—keep the world in Balance. To take back the Life amulet, Lark will have to discover her true inner strength and give in to a love that she swears will be her downfall.
This had all the elements of a story I would normally love. It was super promising, but then… nope.
Basic plot: Lark has super special “chosen one” magic + a birthmark and learns she is one of the four Guardians of Life, so she has to go retrieve the amulet. The rest of the plot is basically like Lord of the Rings meets a bunch of other YA fantasy books.
It took serious effort for me to push through the writing and I thought the pacing, plot, and characters were all pretty bland. The dialogue was stilted & cheesy, and the whole story felt like it was covered in some fog that made it impossible to see clearly.
I love medieval-type fantasy worlds with quests and magic, but the worldbuilding here was scattered and kept making me zone out. It had all the elements of Lord of the Rings: Lark comes from this little village like Hobbiton and loves to be outside gardening. The Riders were kind of like Rangers and the Troths were like orcs. The White Tree of Gondor, Shadowfax, the Council of Elrond, and even the Fellowship kind of made appearances.
I get that Lark is supposed to be super sensitive because she has the Sight and can read other’s energy, history, and intent… but she’s just too weak of a character for me to connect with. A guy describes her as “extremely polite and a bit timid” and that’s about as interesting as she gets. And the romance is just instalove with the typical YA asshole. I have no idea why Lark fell in love with him. Like he’s out to kill her and she just sort of accepts it?!
2 stars because it’s not bad… there’s nothing seriously wrong with the story and I didn’t actively dislike it. It was just extremely dull and I didn’t connect with much. I think people who really, really love fantasy worlds no matter what, identify with timid characters, and have a lot of patience might be able to get into this more than I did.